Posted: March 26, 2013 in Life, Running, Yoga
Tags: , , , ,

Pain can come in all forms – physical, emotional, mental – we can all relate to this in some way (like how I generalize topics?).

In reality, I have been struggling with a lot of lower back pain in the last few weeks.  I am not sure why but if I had to guess it’s probably because I’ve started running on a more consistent basis and my core muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be?  Whether you realize it or not, we use our cores a LOT when we run.  When I got inured I knew that if I didn’t do something to counteract working on my core, I’d lose all sense of my running capabilities….so I started doing Yoga.

I’ve already gone into the ways that Yoga has not only saved me from so much emotional and mental pain but it’s seriously helped me physically.  My balance is incredible these days (with the exception of last week), my upper body (read: arms and back) look like I weight train a few days a week, and my strength in my legs (with holding some of the harder poses) is incredible.  Yesterday I did a Vinyasa class and was FINALLY able to hold crow pose(Kakasana):

I was SO pumped!  I am TERRIBLE at arm balances and I’d really like to get better at them.  Despite being a distance swimmer and to this day ONLY swimming with my upper body (read: I don’t kick and used to/still do swim thousands of yards without kicking), I didn’t have the upper body strength I should have.  I am finally figuring out a way to get there….I think the billions of pushups in yoga class helps? 🙂

So what does this have to do with pain?  Let’s just say, I am in pain this morning….because I am.  And it’s the same pain I’ve felt every morning when I wake up for the last month.  My lower back ache’s, my hands are not nearly as bad as they have been (I have not been diagnosed with it but I can pretty much guarantee that I have rheumatoid arthritis – seriously – my dad has it, my mom has it, my sister has it, everyone in my mom’s family has it, etc – getting the picure?), and my legs ache but I am pretty sure those are the good kind of aching (in my legs).

Ironically, I got an email this morning, from the Runner’s World Subscription, that had a video on how to reduce back pain – you can watch it here.  Truth is – I already do all of those things.  Additionally, one of the things they tell you do for rheumatoid arthritis is to exercise and eat healthy….um…..anyone else see this as ironic?

Truth: the pain subsides after about an hour of waking up.

Truth: I have learned to deal with and manage the pain – in other words, I’ve accepted it and then ignore it.

Truth: I have 800mg Motrin to help when it’s really bad but even some times that doesn’t help.

Truth: I find that exercising really does help.

Does anyone else deal with pain?  And if so, what do you do?

What’s also interesting is the fact that I will push myself just because.  I truly believe this comes from being an athlete all my life but as I mentioned in previous posts, I am reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and I happened to flip open to the perfect excerpt – piece mealed – this morning:

“Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be.  They become very self-abusive, and they use other people to abuse them as well.”

Ain’t that the truth……

  1. adambarr1106 says:

    I’m older than you, of course (because I’m older than EVERYBODY — sheesh), but yes, I deal with daily pain. Long walks at speed, resistance band training, basketball with Joseph — plus a 31-year-old traumatic back injury. It all adds up to garden variety osteoarthritis. Wake up, eek.

    But the key to beating back pain is movement — daily and relentless, in whatever degree you can tolerate. You know this already; the key is never to forget it. Yoga is magnificent in this regard, plus you get the spiritual benefits. And it’s utterly non-competitive. Some things should be like that.

    I enjoy my life more when I move. And if moving now keeps me out of the wheelchair and the 18-pill-a-day fog of old age (I mean REALLY old), so much the better.

  2. k8efitz says:

    Amen to that AB – for serious. I definitely feel better when I move!

  3. I know a thing or two about pain. I’ve suffered a lot in my life. And then I found yoga, which led me to mindfulness and Buddhism. Now, I don’t “practice” Buddhism as a religion, but I do practice Buddhism. In the last two years I’ve learned that everyone suffers–every living thing. Even if the only thing something suffers is death, it still suffers. I’ve also learned that everything that has life will die. It may sound depressing or morbid, but there’s a lot of freedom in that. Everything suffers, but it won’t last because everything also dies.

    Mindfulness, along with remembering these Buddhist principles, helps me live in the moment. Even though I know I will experience pain, I also know it won’t last. And observing which moment I’m in helps me. If I am in a moment of pain, then I breathe and rest assured knowing it will not last. If I am in a moment of not-pain, then I breathe and also know it will not last. I have nothing to fear; I know my pain, and I don’t fear it; it will come when it comes, and it will leave when it leaves. I have nothing to crave or thirst after; I know my moments of not pain, and I try not to desire them.

    I can do (and not do) things to prevent suffering of both myself and others, and I’m learning every day what that means.

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