Last night I was reading DailyOM's facebook post on Overcoming Body Stiffness.
The image they posted with the article was inspiring - The woman was flexible, gorgeous, graceful, elegant, but most importantly healthy & active.
Her body was strong and clearly had an amazing range of motion.
I just loved it - I had a significant personal connection to that pose in particular so I was incredibly moved by it. I'll circle back on why after we take a slight detour on why people suck.
Here's my issue - I happened to glance at the comments and I immediately noticed the body-shamers were in full force being horrible humans as usual. Most disappointing was that most of the shamers were woman. Woman online shaming other woman instead of building one another up.
Comment after comment ...
With all the things woman face from society why can't our messaging to one another be supportive or uplifting?
The messaging is clear you will be found lacking no matter what you do, how hard your try, what you look like, where you live, what you do for a living, how much money you have (or don't have), etc ... and these attacks will come from mostly other women.
Shame on the women who shit on other women for no other reason than they feel empowered to do so behind the safety of their computer monitor. Shame on the women who work on breaking down other women as opposed to building them up. Shame on the women who feel threatened by other women or who feel better by shaming another (woman).
Woman are most amazing and we're even more so when we stand shoulder to shoulder.
Don't be assholes ladies.
Anyway, a year ago, I was barely able to walk and some days I couldn't at all. I was living with excruciating pain because of my knees. I was often on crutches, had leg braces, was in and out of walking casts, & could barely stand up some mornings. I was suffering greatly and had been for an extended period of time.
As a result, my back would seize up in spasms, my hips were out of alignment and my SI joint dysfunction was uncontrolled.
Stiffness set in on an holistic level because I wasn't very mobile. In March, I turned to yoga - Yin style yoga to help stretch and elongate my body. Yoga helped me gently transition areas of my body that had seized up to being more mobile and loose. I would hold static poses, despite the discomfort, until I found a release. I found, without exception, my muscles would eventually surrender to the poses.
The pose she's holding on the DailyOm post is actually the one that I held the most. It was the one that brought me the most relief and gave me the most hope as I knew when I could stay in that position my body was healing and becoming much stronger.
To be clear, this did nothing for my knees. BUT I found the most amazing orthopedic surgeon who was able to completely fix my right knee. He didn't just give me relief he gave me the opportunity to reclaim the things I love most about my life. Things I had long abandoned.
In July I spent a few weeks hiking through Iceland & Ireland - I zoomed through rocky canyons, down steep terrain to sit alongside waterfalls, I climb to the top of Slieve League and down a slippery stone path to the Giant's Causeway, I wandered through remote forests until I couldn't go any further without losing my way and I swam in lagoons as storms rolled over the Icelandic sky.
In the span of 6 months I went from barely being able to move to being able to explore the limits of what my body can do. I have found my way back to pilates and can be found in my basement most days working on my practice.
I'm also figure skating again! I was a competitive figure skater when I was young - it was something I absolutely loved. There's something about standing in the middle of an ice rink alone - just you on brand new ice where the only sounds are from your blades cutting through the ice, it's just magical.
We ended up leaving Pittsburgh to move to Newport News, Va - as a result I stopped skating. I didn't watch it on tv and I never wanted to skate again quite honestly. But here I am at 45 skating again! This time last year I was limping through life - literally.
As I was skating this afternoon I realized how comfortable I felt on my skates, my legs felt strong and sure, & my confidence growing exponentially. To think of where I'll be a year from now is really rather mind blowing.
I think it's sheer perfection - where I am is perfect albeit humbling, it's perfectly humbling.
I find myself with a great deal gratitude because it's easy to roll over and surrender or complain about how things suck but to find something inside of us that allows us to pull ourselves out of that darkness is really rather amazing.
Imagine what we could do if people were supportive and didn't take to social media to rip one another apart. If we navigated life elevating one another perhaps we'd go on more adventures or feel confident in trying new things ...
I'm going to do just that! I'm sort of a solo adventurer of life but when my path crosses with another I try to be kind ... I do no harm ... & I certainly don't break other woman down.
You do you and I'll be cheering you on!