I used to be a dancer, a full-fledged ballet dancer before transitioning into the modern/contemporary world of dance. After that I found my way into the realms of smile-like-no-other musical theater dance. After pushing my body to the extreme, I left the dance world with a slew of injuries that I had no idea how to take care of.
As I’ve gotten older these injuries have resurfaced. As a young adult, you get injured and you don’t think twice about it. You literally jump back into your normal routine without missing a beat. However, as your body starts to move through the years it becomes more susceptible to the weaker areas and, therefore, those injuries you’d forgotten about start to resurface.
One injury in particular came to my attention earlier this year.
WELL, MORE LIKE IT SLAPPED IT’S BIG FACE ALL UP IN MY BIG FACE AND SCREAMED “HELLO!”
That injury is called Sciatica.
- 1. pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an intervertebral disk
It’s an evil injury that had me hunched over and limping while I hobbled to yoga classes and lessons. Attempting to find peace in my body to just –
STAND UP STRAIGHT AND NOT BE IN PAIN.
I continued my normal daily routine without changing a single thing.
I was expecting my body to function in the same way it always had.
Honestly, it really sucked.
But I realized something after a friend reached out and offered to help me. She took me through a very simple routine to help relieve the pain and explained to me something I hadn’t even considered…
Sciatica is not evil. I was ignoring what my body was telling me, and so it kept screaming at me to listen.
Sciatica is treatable. I just needed to listen to my body and learn how to treat it. Although many of us out there struggle with our own injuries daily – whether they be physical OR mental scars – we need to remind ourselves that our body is telling us something.
AND IT’S UP TO US LISTEN.
I still struggle with the pain of sciatica. Right now, in fact, I feel the nerve vibrating through the entire left side of my lower body. It’s pretty gnarly stuff. But I’m not worried, what I used to call evil I now refer to as my best friend. I am fully equipped to handle this injury,
I have put ego aside
and decided that the health of my body in the long term is one hundred times more important than making my quota of seven yoga classes that week. I accept I’m constantly learning, I accept I can’t expect myself NOT to change, and I accept that everything presented to me is a gift – whether it be an injury or one million dollars – and that I will nourish that gift and grow from it.
ANYONE IS WELCOME TO GIVE ME ONE MILLION DOLLARS BY THE WAY.
I mean, I love myself and money don’t give me nutin’…
How can an injury be your best friend? The following is all from trial, error, and personal experience.
INJURIES MAKE YOU STOP AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Whether you’re a natural mover like me, or you’re someone who has never taken a dance class in your life. Having an injury heightens your awareness of what’s actually going on inside your beautiful BOD.
Rather then moving through your day like normal, you’re required to stop and move consciously.
INJURIES FORCE YOU TO CHANGE.
Changing for the better is hard. It’s so easy to function the way you have always functioned, be the way you have always been. But with an injury, you can’t just go about your day like anyone else.
I was pushing myself too hard and moving too fast. This injury made me reassess my idea of what movement is and it made me SLOW DOWN.
Which leads too…
INJURIES FORCE YOU TO SLOW DOWN.
Yup. You can’t take five yoga classes and go hiking three times every week. You must SLOW DOWN. I’ve learned how to function with this injury and get my self out of pain, I have seen my body get stronger and my physical practices change for the better.
Slowing down has made me healthier and stronger than I’ve ever been. I feel vibrant.
INJURIES REVEAL A NEW SIDE OF YOU.
The love yourself side of you. You have to put a lot of ego aside to heal an injury and it’s hard work. But once you do, a plethora of new things reveal themselves to you.
Don’t worry it’ll be different for everyone. I won’t go into it now, I think that thought requires an entirely new post.
INJURIES REQUIRE YOU TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Yes, every injury is frustrating and can start off with a…
WHY ME. I WISH THIS NEVER HAPPENED. I SUCK. YOU SUCK. EVERYTHING SUCKS – KIND OF ATTITUDE.
But, guess what? You’re stuck with it, for the time being it isn’t leaving you. So, rather then using this time to mope around and wish to all HELL it didn’t happen to you. Listen to your BODY and learn. You’ll be surprised to hear that this injury may have your best interests at heart.
SO, MY BEST FRIEND SCIATICA IS STILL WITH ME FOR NOW BUT I AM LEARNING SO MUCH.
Just know, that even if you have an injury and it feels bad now – there is a way for you to get out of pain, function, and move. You may not function like you used to, but that doesn’t mean anything negative. You’ll function in the way your body needs so that you can move freely, you can be strong, and you can be fierce.
I encourage you not to feel defeated, I encourage you to embrace your injury and to love it like the rest of you.
YOU ARE STRONG. YOUR BODY IS PERFECT.
Have you had an injury? What has it taught you about yourself? Tell me in the comments below!