I am lucky. I live close to a lot of green spaces and one particular feature is a small pond. I enjoy taking time to explore the space around the pond and watch and listen to the wildlife.
One great thing about the pond is that it has a path all around it. It is the perfect little get away only eight minutes from my house.
So if you read last week's newsletter you will recall it was confession time. I'm a bona fide chaser. I go for the sensation and usually the really intense "I'm working so hard" sensations.
Yet, I'm starting to learn that more isn't necessarily better.
Case in point.
After blowing my back out last Spring, I didn't think I could start my running routine that I had hoped and planned to do.
I've run on and off for years. The pain in my foot was one reason I hadn't been running and opted to stick to cycling, swimming and walking.
Here comes the pond.
Instead of gruelling it out with continuous running I chose to do something else. I opted not to chase but to listen.
I used the pond as my track.
I would run most of the loop on the gravel path and once it turned to asphalt, I would walk.
You could say it was running intervals, not necessarily based on time and instead on distance.
The catch was that I started to listen.
What showed up, you may ask?
The "stepping on a tack pain" in my left foot. Rather than saying forget it to my running, I used my pain to my advantage.
How so, you may ask?
Turns out my body was sending me a signal when the running was TOO much. I could be pain free for four laps around and sure enough, as I finished the fifth lap, it reared its head.
Some days the walk interval resolved it and other days it did not.
What was the coolest thing was when I had the brain wave to stop right before the running would begin, come to lie on the grass beside the path and move my hips in multiple planes of motion (i.e., specific exercises that I've been incorporating in my own yoga therapy practice). By doing the movements, most times I was able to hit a reset button and be pain free for another lap.
Crazy, I know!
The combination of listen for my pain and then NOT chasing it down was key.
I provided support to the real issue (which is actually my left hip). Now I won't get into the details of what those exercises are (I know you what to know!) as the main message from me to you today is that you too can stop chasing. Consider what your body is telling you and how can you support it.
This of course is only one example and my own personal experience. Your story, your body and your experience is different than mine.
I invite you to notice and take stock of the actions and behaviours that support you and those that do not.
If I kept pushing through and chasing down my pain, I can almost guarantee that running would be taken off my list of physical activities I like to do. At some point, I would have blown out my back again or worse.
My brain is meeting my body where it is at. And my body is meeting my brain. The sweet combination is what can help with my left foot pain.
If you are someone dealing with pain, I can help. I'd be happy to work with you one on one to help you grow your body-brain connect and get out of pain!
Stay well and happy moving,
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa