10 Months of 30 Days…Stretch Yo’Self!

A few years ago I was in a pretty bad car accident. I rotated between the chiropractor and massage therapist until I was able to walk right again without pain and eventually run and workout again. However, since then, it’s not uncommon for me to have my pelvis, hips, and ribs out of place from time to time. Working out has helped tremendously as my muscles keep things in place, but every once in a while I get completely out of whack. Most of the time I just deal with it, but I started this challenge knowing I had a rib out as it was causing me pain, and as I moved into the challenge it became clear that I couldn’t ignore the rest anymore. It was obvious my sacrum was also out as I felt pain in my left knee and what felt like overstretched hamstrings. So, off to the chiropractor I went to get my rib, sacrum, and hips all put back where they’re supposed to be. And that’s how we begin a new challenge lol.

This 30-day challenge was two-fold. Yes, first it’s about making sure I stretch every night. My new workout program that I started right before the new year is no joke- I absolutely need the stretch to mitigate the ongoing soreness that I’m experiencing (which is amazing btw). I work out every morning and afterward I stretch and meditate, but that’s typically been where I leave things. But it’s also tied to my nudge word for the year: OPENNESS. This month I wanted to bring the practice of stretching back around into the evening, and by doing so, it allows me to reset my intentions so that I remain open to all of the possibilities that are coming into my life this year. Equally importantly is my need to decompress each evening in a way that isn’t centered on numbing out or being a zombie. The focus needed to be on true relaxation and purpose. I needed time to have a little positive self talk and to reconnect with myself physically and emotionally. The days so easily get away from me and become a blur. Too often I find myself wishing time away to get to the next big thing or the next break. I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to wish my life away all the time. The time spent stretching (and breathing!) makes me come back to myself and be present again and hopefully not for the first time since morning.

What I didn’t realize would happen is the way it would reconnect me to my body. When I saw the chiropractor he told me he was concerned about the level of pain I had become accustomed to living with. Because I am used to it, it’s easy to ignore in favor of other priorities. This challenge forced me to feel it. Needless to say I’ve made an appointment with a massage therapist to work on remedying it. I don’t want to live in pain or pushing pain to the side. My threshold for pain is so high that it’s never kept me from doing whatever I want to do, but it’s not a thriving existence and that’s what I want for myself. Each night I have to directly face every ounce of stress and tightness that has manifested in my body. That consistent “come to Jesus” has really motivated me to seek help, and that’s a wonderful thing.

As I wrap up this month, I’ve decided this is one I want and need to keep on the daily schedule. It has served me in so many more ways than I imagined it would. I am still battling my Seasonal Affective Depression hard, but I know it would be even worse without providing disciplined actions into my day that keep me moving and focused on something other than the struggle. Depression has my mind most days right now, but this helps keep it from taking my body down with it. I’m looking forward to the next 30-day challenge and continuing to better areas of my life that I can control, while working to let go of those I can’t. I’ll come out on the other side of this season better than I was before, and I feel pretty good about that.

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