Monday, February 27, 2012

I Have Fight In Me

Recovering from bruised and cracked ribs is an interesting journey into the world of pain and levels of pain. Everything I do seems to set-off a not so happy face from the chart above. It is with me when I wake in the morning and shadows me throughout the day until I gently settle myself into bed at night.

I am not letting pain get the better of me. I find the more I push myself, the next time I can go further before the pain takes over. On day three of this particular journey I head outdoors⎯not for my normal run, but to walk⎯with or without the pain. It took me some time to figure out how best to hold my frame, swing my arms and move my legs in the least painful manner. Yes, I would have rather be running, but I was happy I could at least take to the hills around my home. Interestingly enough, I found the most comfortable position was something we’ve all heard from our mothers…

"Shoulders back, stomach in⎯stand tall!"

I’ve noticed how my body protects itself by sending out the pain police before I take in a full breath, before I swing my arm too far, etc. Standing tall opened up my chest and allowed more oxygen into my lungs. With each breath past the pain, the next breath was able to go further. Realizing this helps me suck it up and push past the pain. Since day three, I am seeing remarkable leaps in mobility each day as I push past the limits this injury has given my body. What’s good for the body is good for the mind because these seemingly minor accomplishments feed my intention to be positive, and helps me be all I can be in each moment.

We see examples of people moving beyond what we perceive as limits all of the time. I find myself asking, “Could I do what they have been able to do in similar circumstances?” I think we all find ourselves at one time or another asking the same question. Prior to my rib injury, I would have said that I hoped so. I know I have stubborn determination, and tenacious persistence inside⎯but I have learned something very important⎯I have fight in me, and that is what I see in the countless people fighting to be all they can be.

"If there is one thing you've got to hold on to, it's the courage to fight!"
Bessie Delany (103 years young) from The Delany Sister's Book of Everyday Wisdom

Not to compare my little bruised and cracked ribs to anyone dealing with more debilitating issues, but I now know I would be the fighter they are. I would fight through the pain no matter what I had to endure. I would suck it up, shoulders back, stomach in, stand tall and move forward.

We all have a certain level of fight in us⎯even if we haven’t tested it lately. Pain and dealing with pain is different for everyone, but are you being all you can be?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Waiting to Use My Brain

After my snow skiing accident a few weeks ago, it was 20 minutes before the ski patrol had me loaded in a toboggan and on my way. Waiting for anything is the perfect time to recall those poems, prayers, songs or the chronological order of US presidents you have been memorizing during this intentional month of stimulating your brain.

While waiting for whatever it is I am waiting for, I put my brain cells to work by recalling something I have memorized. I find it quite relaxing. It brings a focus and an overall calm to whatever the situation. Sometimes I focus on quieting my brain in a somewhat meditative state. But other times, I find recalling something memorized forces a moment of focus I can’t find while trying to quiet my monkey mind.

Whether you are sitting for hours in the doctors office, or lying sunny-side-up on a ski slope, wait no longer! What a perfect opportunity to use your brain. I find people often comment on my patience. I smile and think…

 5. James Monroe... 

25. William McKinley... 

40. Ronald Reagan…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Home is...

Where do you find home these days? Is it a physical location or someplace deep inside? If you haven't thought about it before, give yourself some time to consider this question with the intention of coming up with an answer. Knowing this answer will always make you smile whenever you might need an extra one.

I came across this video last year. It happens to be a favorite song of mine, Home, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and makes me smile whenever I hear it. When you hear Jorge and Alexa cover the tune, you will fall in love with it too. Enjoy!

And to my Valentine, home is whenever I'm with you!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It’s the Pits!

It's the pits
1950’s slang for the worst of something,
1960’s slang describing something that metaphorically stinks!

Here's the story: The sky was blue, the snow was perfectly groomed, not a hint of wind with temperatures in the low twenties – it just may have been the best ski day ever at my local ski resort. After ninety minutes of perfection⎯BAM⎯I was body slammed and popped out of my skis by a snowboarder cutting through the trees from an adjacent run. Fortunately I was going into a turn, not traveling fast and on a milder pitch from what I had been skiing. All I heard was, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” as we both slid down the mountain.

Once I came to a stop, I began taking a personal inventory of what body parts I could move and what caused me pain. I was very calm⎯brought on by the gratitude I felt in not having debilitating injuries. At this point, I realized how disappointed I was because I wouldn’t be skiing the rest of this beautiful day. I found myself thinking⎯it’s the pits! Not even something I normally say.

The ski patrol arrived and with all the attention on moving me into the toboggan, the snowboarder disappeared…

I am recovering from bruised and cracked ribs on my left side. Ah, a new adventure in healing. I am not angry. I refuse to look at this as any kind of setback. I’ve been feeling well lately and embrace each day as the gift it is. I don’t want to gum it all up with anger. Healing and anger are like oil and water⎯they don’t mix.

I am going about my days attempting to do what I would normally do⎯a little slower perhaps. I am finding new ways to move my body in order to achieve the end result. My knowledge of body mechanics along with strength and flexibility (weight lifting/Pilates/yoga) are coming to my aid⎯me helping me.

As I retold my story of the circumstances of the day, people kept saying, “It’s the pits,” like it was some special healing mantra. Is it the pits? It stinks, it's not fun, but it is what it is, and I’m getting over it. I can deal with the pain⎯this too shall pass as they say; but what about the unidentified snowboarder⎯he will never know what happened to that little lady he body slammed⎯and that my friends just may be the pits.

Photo courtesy of Helga Weber