On Sunday morning I dragged my butt out of bed at 8am to go to a yoga class. I don’t even wake up that early to get to work during the week! Which explains why I am late to work every day since I have to be in the office at 8:30 and I usually roll out of bed around 8:15. (oops!) So I get to the yoga class a few minutes late and become that awkward person tripping over her own feet to get a spot on the floor. The class begins with meditation. I lay there with my heart beating fast after running up two flights of stairs to get to the room. The instructor says to concentrate on my breathing but my long list of things to do for that day are crowding my head.
An hour later I walk out of the class stretched and relaxed. During the closing meditation I actually dozed off and felt clear minded for the first time in months. During my college years there was also something to think about, plan, write or study for. Now in the PGL I do have more free time than before but I still feel stressed and my mind is overcrowded with things I should be doing. PGL is a new set of thoughts and worries. Errands, laundry, bills and trying to get to bed at a decent hour while trying to finish up the West Wing on Netflix is a lot to balance! I don’t know how I balanced classes with volunteering and a job!
Working out is something I have always enjoyed. Not to fit into a pair of jeans or fit into a bikini. I just always enjoyed challenging my body. When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with scoliosis during a routine school physical. My parents luckily knew doctors and had connections and the next day I was getting x-rays of my spine. Most people have to wait a few months to see a specialist because of the long waiting list. If we had to wait those few months before seeing a specialist I would probably not be in the shape I am in today. The next month after the doctors visit I was being fitted for a back brace. It is like a corset made out of plastic that prevents sitting comfortably and breathing impossible. I went through a year of teasing as a result. Here is this thing that I have to wear to better my quality of life but my classmates saw it as weird and would mock me for it. I was called Scoli for a long time and had books pushed out of my arms. I was unable to bend so picking them up was rather difficult. If I sat down getting up was difficult so I looked like a turtle upside down. I am pained by years of bullying and name calling because of my disability. Later that year I had to switch schools because of the cost bullying was doing to my mental and physical health.
The back brace was eventually no longer an option for treatment and my spine did improve a bit but not 100%. I was a ballet dancer for many years and my doctors told me that I would not be able to dance in fear that it would do harm to my spine and lungs. That hurt the most. For years my body would ache in horrible pain. My spine would shift during the night or I would move wrong and it would go out. I try to explain it feels like falling down the stairs on your back and there is no sign of relief.
When I was 12 I was told I could not dance, could not run, I would not grow taller than 5 foot, and my quality of life would not be comfortable. When working out, it hurts my body. What is easier for others to do my body has to fight harder. This week I have been going to Pilates and the gym every day working on improving my strength and how much my body can handle. My body and back is in so much pain because I am working muscles my body does not have.
I was told that I could never do a lot of things but I worked my butt off to prove them all wrong. One more rep is a step closer to having control of my own body again. The muscle definition is a nice perk but being able to pick something up without pain is the biggest victory of all.