I have it. You have it. We all have it.
It’s part of the human experience.
I’ve been on a tangent for the past six months researching and educating myself on the world of movement and mobility. What started as a back injury has lead me down a path of correcting movement pathology that has been present since the dawning of man. Okay, fine, probably since I was like seven. But that’s still a long time.
Anyway, when I hurt myself, I decided that I was going to things a little different. Instead of going to my orthopedic specialist and him telling me that I needed an MRI and then waiting two weeks to get it, then waiting a week after that to get the results and then waiting another week to go in and have him read me my results so that he could tell me I needed six weeks of PT before I had to go back to him again before he would tell me I needed more PT or surgery…whew!
I just decided to cut him off at the pass. Actually, I cut him off nearer to the hamstring, but who’s counting anyway.
I said to myself “hey, so, we aren’t going to stop doing CrossFit and we aren’t going to stop moving and we are DEFINITELY not taking up golf like this guy suggested the last time, so what are we going to do?”
I got my hands on every resource I could to educate myself on how to better move my body. I asked the resident PT at our CrossFit affiliate a million questions – and then he swore at me. I did strict press and knee push ups and strict pull ups and nothing else until I almost did burpees voluntarily out of boredome. I did AirDyne tabata’s instead of rowing or running and I nearly lost my mind squatting with no weight for a very long time.
I GOT CERTIFIED AS A CROSSFIT MOBILITY TRAINER LAST MONTH BECAUSE I NEEDED BETTER ANSWERS
I had pathology and instead of taking a pill or going into surgery, I thought “maybe I need to fix the problem instead of putting bandaids on the symptoms.” Now that is not to say for those of you who have legitimate injuries that you should just do what I am doing, but treating the underlying issue is always better in the long run because what good is surgery for something chronic that is occurring because of faulty movement?
Does this make any sense? I mean, don’t get me wrong, some ibuprofen and week off helped me initially, but at the end of the day I needed to get my body moving again or I was going to get stuck. Movement was the best medicine for me. I cannot go back to lifting the way I was lifting before my injury or I’ll end up in the same boat.
I have to change something.
When I had post-partum depression and anxiety, I also had pathology.
Although there were a lot of triggers and stimulus for my experience after my first child, it exposed some weaknesses in my emotional life that needed tending to (the same way an overhead squat can expose how wrong your movement is). Since I had a couple of psychology degrees hanging on my wall and about three years of experience as a Marriage and Family Therapy intern, I knew exactly what to do. I marched myself to the doctor and got some help. They gave me some medicine to take and said I’d be good to go in a few weeks.
But I knew better.
Taking medicine was going to be a temporary fix to a permanent problem unless I got to the root of what was causing the anxiety in the first place. I am no stranger to therapy (we had to do it as part of our graduate program), so I signed myself up.
See, figuring out what makes me anxious and then having the tools to help manage that anxiety is a better long term fix than taking meds and week off. I’m not shaming those who take meds or those who need them on a regular basis, I know there are situations much different than my own and it’s not my call for your life. I’m just saying that in addition to the meds, you have to work the process. I took the meds but I worked the process. Let me rephrase that, I freaking worked the process. And when some quack told me I’d be a lifer on medication, I kindly responded:
“Actually, no, I won’t because see Mr. More Psych. Degrees Hanging on the Wall Than Me, I have been working the process and these meds don’t allow me to cry and you know what? I want to cry. I’m ready to cry now. Thank you.”
With any pathology; physical or emotional – we have to work the process or we don’t get better.
Healing happens when we are willing to take a deep, sometimes dark, look at ourselves (whether in a squat or otherwise) and say, “that’s kind of broken and I need to fix it.” Like really fix it and stop covering it up acting like it’s gonna go away. Because I can tell you from experience. It doesn’t go away until you address it.
You know, with overhead squats, I mean…
(Oh hey, I’m not a medical doctor, Physical Therapist or a licensed MFT. These are my opinions. This has worked for me. I think educating ourselves is the most powerful thing we can do and so therefore, I educate myself. If you need medical advice or medication, then consult with your doctor. I know everyone knows not to take advice from blogs, but just in case).
Categories: All The Rest