Things I take for granted: summer rain, having enough food to eat, being able to get up and down off the floor from a seated position, the ability to walk.
For the last 2 weeks as my husband continues with his health challenges, which now include (we believe) a gout attack which affected his knee and then ankle, my own life has become impacted by his inability to move. I have slowed down in order to help him get around, and in my initial attempts to help him keep his joint inflammation at bay, and in doing so I have become acutely aware of not only how he moves, but of how everyone moves. This is not something that happens all of a sudden, scientists have studied this Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it is caused by our brain’s ability to filter out what we deem unimportant or uninteresting information or data, and the recency effect, a cognitive bias that inflates the importance of recent stimuli or observations. This increases the chances of being more aware of the subject when we encounter it again in the near future.
Since working with a personal trainer the last four years I have definitely become more aware of how my body moves and that movement matters, but in an isolated gym setting it is sometimes easy to forget that movement matters in real life. I have had a few overuse injuries flare up over the last few years, painful at the time, but nothing permanent. The reason I began working with a trainer more than 8 years ago was because I could not walk, sit or sleep without pain in my upper back-movement I take for granted now. Until this last week. As I experienced second hand how painful and difficult simple movements like standing from a seated position, walking, and getting in and out of a car were for my husband, I realized how overly confident I had become in my ability to move. And how in a seemingly short amount of time, if I did not take care of my body, it could all begin to erode.
My husband is a very active guy and in very good physical shape, but over the years job related stress, poor-ish eating habits and not paying attention to his body have resulted in a few health issues the last couple of years which seem to have snowballed. Is it too late for him to reclaim his health and well being and his ability to move? It is never too late.
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE
As I go through my day, noticing how people move at the grocery store, running at the beach, at the gym, at work, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have decided to take action before I became unable to move. Once my pain disappeared and I became stronger, I was able to move better. And once I was able to move better, I was able to become more physically active. With more physical activity also comes the risk of injury. But with the knowledge and awareness about movement and the ability to move better also comes the ability to heal faster and become stronger.
MOVING BETTER THROUGH LIFE
Just to be clear, I did not wake up one day and decide to lift 190 pounds or run a 25K trail race. I decided to take control of my life and my moving body 8 years ago when I crawled out of bed and hobbled to the closet in pain and my husband simply stated, “Well, you are getting older.”
I refused to spend the second half of my life popping anti inflammatory pills which really did nothing to alleviate my pain. Movement matters. If you cannot move your body begins to slow down and shut down and your brain starts to shrink from lack of blood flow. My 93 year old father in law gets up and walks whenever he can. “Keep moving” above all else. If you have difficulty or are in pain please meet with someone who can help you move better through life. I thought I was moving well before I started working with Justin at Gain, but in the last year the simple awareness of the importance of quality of movement has allowed me to share this information with others. I have also been able to learn some new movements and have become stronger, both very important as we go through life. Learning how to move is good for the body and the brain.