Thursday, December 31, 2009

Inspiration from Goodlife Zen Question 3

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?


  1. Ok, WOW.

    I'm so glad you found an instructor who really understands what you need. There's also swimming, which is super low impact on the knees.

  2. Hayden: That's so funny that you mention swimming because just today my son asked me why we never go swimming anymore. We made a commitment to him that we would try to be a more active family, including swimming.

    Not only did I find an instructor who understands, I found a time to go that works for me too. The previous class was at 6:00 a.m. and I couldn't swing that with having to be at school by 8:00. The new class meets at 4:30 p.m. which works perfectly for me.

  3. I have no excuse for not exercising. I'm a slug.

  4. Auntie M: But you're a slender slug, right? :)

  5. That is awesome!!! Hooray for you, my dancing pal :) I'm glad that you've overcome that barrier and enjoy the aerobics class. That's wonderful!

  6. septembermom: Have you checked out Hayden Tompkins' post about 2010? MY fellow dancer, you will love it? Go to

    or just click on her name in my comments section.

  7. Oh good heavens.. you've got such amazing answers to the questions. Superhero is the word that comes to mind when I think of you. I wish you lived in my backyard (or nearby) as I'd love to have you as a neighbour.. I'd encourage you to come to my class of course!

    I think I've overcome the speaking in public barrier. I know this is most people's biggest fear, but I guess through repetition, practice, etc, it is not nearly as fearful as it once was. Now, throw me in a more public forum (ie, radio) and I'd likely think I'm going to die of a heart attack, but if you put me in front of groups of 20, 30, 50 and 100, and I think I'm still okay. At least I'd venture to say I'm more okay than the average person.

    What can I say. Practice will do that for any fear.


  8. Daisy: Ooh, I would so love to be neighbors! I would love to come to your class too, as long as I can low impact over in a corner. :)

    Wow--overcoming fear of public speaking is a huge barrier to overcome! Congratulations! That is no small feat to have accomplished this year. You're so right--practice does help. But for some people no amount of practice will take away that fear, so I'm so impressed by your accomplishment. Woo-hoo!


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