Have you ever had a life defining moment so huge that it radically transformed your life and made you question everything? (I hope so because it keeps things interesting!) I’ve had a few but the one I’m talking about today is when at age 38 1/2, I was sent to physical therapy for a shoulder injury sustained on the job at…wait for it….my desk job in Corporate IT! Yup! Now – the story here is not about how bad Corporate IT is because for lots and lots of people it’s great. You make big money, you do cool things, and you get to work in tall buildings sometimes.
Oh no. The story here is about what stress can do to your body without you even realizing it until it sneaks up on you and BASHES you over the head.
The really short story here is that I had an injury in my shoulder from repetitive mouse movements. I learned I had zero core strength (which was humiliating in and of itself), I started yoga, learned to listen to my body and intuitively eat better, lost 50 lbs in the process, started to allow my inner-voice to shine through (ie doing more and more of what made me happy), and decided to quit my corporate job in IT a few months ago to focus full-time on becoming a Holistic Wellness Coach and food & lifestyle blogger.
If that little tidbit whet your appetite…read on! If not – thanks for reading and please do let me know about some of your life defining moments in the comments below!
It all started one evening in the Fall of 2008. I was slicing something or other and just like that, my hand went numb and the knife went flying. Thankfully – everyone in the house was spared but it did make my husband and I question what the hell just happened. This went on for a few weeks until I was banned from using knives so I decided to have it checked. I mean…if I couldn’t even use a knife to cut my food how was I going to do things I love like whitewater rafting and waterfall repelling and horseback riding? Life, at that moment, felt over.
Turns out, I had inflamed angry bursae (more commonly known as bursitis) that was quickly turning into frozen shoulder. (Side note: if you have bursities in your shoulder – do not – I repeat do NOT try to play catch with your dog. It will send you to the ground writhing in pain). One part of the treatment I enjoyed immensely was massage therapy. When (not if…when) I win the lottery, I will have a personal masseuse at my beck and call. Heck – I’ve even travelled as far away as Bali to get a decent massage.
Back to my story.
The part of my physical therapy I did not enjoy was the stretching and strengthening. I was 38 1/2. Why was I so weak and out of shape? It was embarrassing. Especially when my PT commented on my love of turtlenecks. I only wore turtlenecks to hide myself away. Why did he need to comment on that? Humiliated? Check!
He recommended I try Pilates to help strengthen my core so my muscles would re-learn how to work. I was dubious but I didn’t want my life to be over so I acquiesced. The first few times were hard. But I did it. I repeat – I did not want my life to be over. I was too young and wanted to do too much yet. And then one day, I felt my muscles starting to grip…they were working! Oh what a heavenly joyous feeling to actually feel my stomach muscles peeling me up off the ground instead of my clumsy attempts with my elbows.
What happened next? How did this all turn into me leaving behind a lovely paycheck to begin anew? More tomorrow….(in the meantime I’ll try to hunt down some photos from this era of my life)