Sticking with it when "it" gets hard

When you deal with something in your life on a regular basis (like daily), and it’s not something you’re particularly fond about, it gets icky. I’m now 8 months into physical therapy to realign what got outta whack in my body back in 2012 when I was training for a marathon.

Eight. Months.  Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I really, honestly, truly thought that if I went to each weekly appointment and faithfully did every home exercise to lengthen what needed to be stretched and strengthen what had become weak, that I would be perfectly (more than perfectly) realigned in 8 months time. But oh my was I dead wrong.

Has it been hard to do the exercises? No. Time consuming? Yes. Frustrating as hell when it seemed like things were getting better in some areas, feeling worse in others, and other problems cropped up I’d never had before. I mean, how long and hard do I have to work to get to a place of bodily balance and pain free-ness?

The short answer. Longer than I could have possibly imagined.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “Am I really getting anywhere?”, “Is this as good as it is ever going to get?”, “Should I just stop going to physical therapy?” I had those days when I just thought I should give up. I wasn’t sure if I could get to a place where things felt great most of the time not mostly good some of the time.

But something in me has known since I started this whole process that I could get where I wanted to be. Where my body felt balanced and pain free as the norm and not the exception. So even on the days when I was ready to throw in the towel I knew it was just a bad day. A day where I was frustrated and wishing things felt better and not understanding why after all this time and effort I wasn’t there yet.

And then… I went for a run.

I run regularly, but not pain free.

Except this time I ran, and the things that usually hurt didn’t hurt. At. All.

I kept on running, the whole time thinking it was a fluke. My left hip, which always bothers me when I run, wasn’t. I actually kept waiting for it to start hurting. Every step, every minute, every mile. “It’s going to kick in”, I thought. It always does. But it didn’t.

I had no idea that day would be the day that would show me that all of those hours of stretching and strengthening and focusing on changing my walking and running gait pattern, believing in my body, and my physical therapist, would pay off. I did not see it coming at all.

and I’m so grateful. So so grateful.

I’ve always appreciated a healthy and balanced body. I’ve never taken it for granted.

Which is why if I had thrown in the towel 2 months ago, or said, “I’m done” 2 weeks ago, I might not ever have gotten to this place. I don’t know. That’s the thing about unknown outcomes, no matter what you’re working toward. Whether it be a job promotion, to get better at playing an instrument, to quit your job, take a leap of faith and start a business. You have no idea all that will be involved or how long it will take to get to what you want. You never do.

But if you really do want something bad enough you’ll keep reaching until you get there.

Is there a time to give up? Absolutely. But that answer has to come from deep within you and can’t be made when you’re having an “off/frustrated with it all” kind of day.

Am I done with having painful running days? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m so very glad I’ve made it this far.

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~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life