Monday, July 14, 2014


Just 12 days ago I posted about my new journey - looking for a way to live with chronic pain, in my hip, leg and shoulder through exercise, something somewhat foreign to me.  I have a 3-month membership at Motions Fitness in addition to sessions with a personal trainer.

I wrote that I was "Beginning to say Farewell," and here are the things, so far that I have learned to say farewell to.

At 60 years of age, I am for the first time learning so many things.  I'm learning how my life has been poorly influenced by saying and believing, "I don't think I can do that."  My feelings of inadequacies go way back, to being an overweight child who for the most part didn't believe in herself.

I have been working with a personal trainer two times a week, since June 20th.  I began to tell myself that if I felt that I couldn't do the stretch or exercise, I had to stop saying it out loud, and just try it.

Farewell #1  "I don't think I can do that."  My personal trainer who I often find myself referring to as my coach, Lisa, is so positive and supportive.  "Yes, Susan, you can do this."  "Yes, you can," she says with a smile.

Every session starts the same way with Lisa and I.  She works on releasing the muscles and tendons by rolling them.  Yes, like a rolling pin.  And yes, painful in some areas.  "Breathe, Susan.  That's right, breathe deeply, inhale, exhale.  Relax your face. That's right. Doesn't that feel much better when you do that?"  Yes, Lisa it does.  The pain may still be right there, but it is better with breathing and relaxing.

Some modifications have been used to help me complete the stretch or exercise with limitations and pain. For as long as I can remember, I have not been able to lay on my back with both legs straightened out, or both up in the air without low back pain.  Modifications have helped me to do leg raises while on my back, to reduce the pain while strengthening the abdomen and lower back muscles.
Yes. I can do this.

Farewell #2 "I can't lay on my back without pain."  But I can!  Three days ago, I started doing leg raises without modifications.

Doing sit ups and push ups is also part of the routine.  More modifications and assistance needed, but I have worked up to laying on the floor (no longer on the padded table) to do the sit ups.  A few days ago, my mind raced back to junior high school.  I was laying on the gym floor with the other girls in physical fitness.  I had to do a bent knee sit up.  I recalled that old phrase, "I can't do that," and tearfully I realized that now I had the power to change that.  

Farewell #3 "I could never do a sit up."  I'm working on sit ups, though not quite polished yet.  But when I rolled back down without crashing back down on the floor, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment.   With a tearful response, I told Lisa, "I can do it!  I am doing a sit up!" I now know that I have the power to change my thinking, to strengthen my muscles and believe in myself, and change my way of life.

I've had a few experiences going to a "Gym" where you have a paid membership.  I remember paying for months in advance hoping that would mean I'd honor my commitment and go regularly.  Like many, I have had good intentions, but never followed through.  So why is it that I am committed to this membership now?  How can it be that I feel so at home here?  Perhaps because its about seeking hope for a better life, instead of glorifying myself.  If that is true, by seeking hope, no matter what it takes to find it, I am putting my trust in something beyond my own answers, because, after all, I have tried everything else available to me.  And if that is why I am feeling so comfortable, it is time to thank God for this open door, for this answered prayer. It is because of my seeking and finding like this, that being so comfortable is just the way its supposed to be.  Praise the Lord (Jesus Christ!)

My next post will be about my experience as part of a class. Until then....keep seeking....

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