We often associate pain with tight muscles or aching joints. We can point to where it hurts, describe how it feels in great detail and list what activities make it better or worse. We become so intimate with our pain. But do we really know it? How well do we understand it? What if the pain in our life actually serves a deeper purpose?
Our society values a quick fix. “Just make it go away,” clients will plead. The goal of my work is to reduce the pain in the short term while uncovering and addressing the hidden, deeper causes of pain in the long term. Not everyone is ready to address the deeper issue, but this is where the real work and healing begins.
We’ve all seen it. The Facebook post or video clip of an 80-something-year-old deadlifting or squatting her bodyweight. While so many people see this person as an exception to what the human body was meant to do past a certain age, I see it as a challenge to us all.
“I think I’m just getting too old” is probably the number one line I hear in my practice. It usually comes on the heels of listing a litany of symptoms. I used to let this talk slide, until I realized just how much “feeling too old” was interfering with people’s healing.
When I worked in the corporate world, I used to set my alarm for the last possible minute. Then it was a mad rush to get ready and out the door. I was stressed out before I even turned my computer on.
I never considered myself to be a morning person. Mornings were for drinking the coffee that propelled me into the afternoon.
But when I began really digging into my day, in an attempt to be happier, less stressed and more productive, I realized that by trying to get the morning over with, I was throwing away an opportunity to transform my entire day. After reading Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, I decided to create my own morning routine.
In the spirit of April Fools, let’s play a game. Which one of these sentences is true?
- You must train hard every time you work out and feel sore after or you won’t benefit.
- Pain or an injury will go away if you stretch or foam roll enough.
- You must avoid moving into the position where you got injured.
You might be surprised to find that all of these are false. Let’s break down these commonly held exercise myths.
If you’ve ever stood on the starting line of a race filled with doubt or decided not to apply for a job after hearing that someone more qualified than you also applied, then you’ve no doubt experienced how limiting beliefs can stop you in your tracks.
The good news is that these disempowering thoughts and beliefs can be swapped out for new ones. I’ll walk you through the steps to do just that.
When I started training for my first race, I became fast friends with my foam roller. At the time, I didn’t know any better, so I rolled, jammed lacrosse balls into tight knots and hoped for the best. I chalked it up to the toughness required of the sport. Despite my dutiful rolling, the same aches and pains returned. When something is tight, it’s our natural instinct to rub it until it feels better. But what if there’s a better way?
For many cyclists in pain or who feel that something is off, stopping at their local bike shop for a bike fit is often the first line of defense. But what’s going on if you’re still in pain following the fit or even after several fits?
I see this more often than not with clients and I think it’s important to explore a few considerations that a traditional bike fit doesn’t address that can contribute to pain or decreased performance.
Clients often share that they started cycling because they either got injured running or their doctor suggested a lower impact sport to relieve foot or knee pain. Unfortunately, these problems don’t just go away once you’re clipped into a bike pedal. If you’re experiencing pain on the bike, especially knee, calf, hip or hamstring pain, there’s a good chance your foot is involved.
In the last post, I challenged you to begin to tune into your breath. Hopefully, you’ve started to discover what it feels like to shift your breath from a shallow chest breath and into a deeper, diaphragmatic one. If you’re still having trouble finding this more calming way to breathe, keep it at, revisiting the breathing exercise every day.
In the last post I challenged you to begin breathing through your nose. How did it go? If you have some structural issues or if mouth breathing is your go-to breath, breathing through the nose can be downright difficult.
Does it really matter how you’re delivering oxygen to your body?
If you’re like most people, it’s easy to get amped up or feel butterflies in your stomach. The breath is the magic switch to turn down your stress level.