The posts until Saturday, January 9, will be in response to Mary Jaksch's questions on Goodlife Zen, 11 Questions that lead to Gratitude. Please visit the site and subscribe for daily inspiration.
3. What barrier did you overcome?
For most of my adult life I have loved to exercise. In my younger days I alternated jogging with lifting weights. In my older days, I took dance classes.
A few years ago, during an Irish hardshoe class (think Riverdance,) I ripped a ligament in my right knee. The pain was severe and lasted for a long time. It was two years before I felt enough confidence in my knee to attempt another dance class.
I started off slowly with low impact Hebrew style worship dance. Didn't matter. Ripped the ligament in the left knee this time. The pain was recognizable to me, so I decided not to go to the doctor again, but instead went through the series of exercises my physical therapist taught me with the first rip.
It’s been three more years since then, during which I have suffered tremendous knee fear. Whenever I exercise, or even turn suddenly, I feel those nagging residual ripped ligament pains and usually stop what I’m doing for fear of making it worse. I have developed excuse after excuse as to why I can’t do this exercise or that one, but it all comes down to: I FEAR MY KNEES.
I fear my knees so much that I do very little exercise. And gain weight. Which makes my knees hurt worse. Which makes me avoid movement. You see where I’m going here…
Two weeks ago, chick pal Ekanela convinced me to join an aerobics class where she is an instructor. The nice thing? She understands knee pain. While she shows everyone else a dance move, she shows me the alternate low-impact move that will work the same muscles. She will even tell me to stop when the knee pain hits, and do something else as long as I keep moving.
Guess what? I FEEL GOOD! I want to exercise every day. I'm in the zone where I can't stand missing a day.
The greatest barrier I overcame this year was the fear of hurting myself. Sorry, there will be no accompanying picture of my knees.
What barrier did YOU overcome in 2009?