Today, I Push Myself

Today I chose to push myself.

There’s a funny thing about chronic pain: you never really know what your body’s reaction is going to be.

Today I woke up not feeling well. I felt flu-like, I didn’t sleep well last night, and I felt nauseous the majority of the morning. My body was telling me to lay in bed all day, to not move, to sulk in the pain and discomfort.

My mind is stronger and wiser.

I decided I’d get my body up, get some nutrients and power in me, and go to the chiropractor. Upon arriving back home, I had to make a decision. To go upstairs and fall into endless Office episodes, or haul myself downstairs and do yoga. I like to make my heart happy, and I knew that in the long run, only one of those choices had the power to do that.

I dragged one foot in front of the other, all the way downstairs. I turned the TV to YouTube and cued up Yoga With Adrien’s Yoga Camp – Day 4. This was the fourth day of 30 days of yoga, and I was determined to get through day 4, because day 5 will be that much more rewarding. I made my heart happy (and my body, it just doesn’t know it yet).

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI was feeling quite tired and flu-like again after my yoga practice, so I grabbed my water bottle filled with lemon water and headed for my bed. Now, to make my body happy. I laid around most of the afternoon, watching the Office and Saving Hope (both great shows).

I was sitting on my bed, curled up in blankets and being supported by pillows when a thought hit me.

What is this doing for me? I am in pain and I don’t feel well, yes. But, I have some energy, do something with it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetSo, I clicked pause on the remote, rolled over to my dresser, grabbed a pair of socks and slid them on my feet. I pulled out my tennis shoes from my closet and laced them up. I was going for a walk. I walked downstairs, called Twig (one of the pups) and clipped the leash onto her collar. And off we went. My lungs started yelling at me to slow down 8 minutes into the trek, but I knew I needed to push myself. I will not get stronger if I do not push myself. Then my left knee and right ankle were screaming, “STOP!” I slowed down a bit (and it’s not like I walk very fast to begin with). Twig’s tail was wagging, the sun was shining, my feet were moving, I was smiling, colorful leaves were crunching. I was grateful for this day.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI don’t always know if pushing myself is a good thing or not, but I do know that if you don’t give yourself a bit of a nudge every once in a while, you’re going to start sliding further backwards than you would be inching forward.

I am proud of myself. I accept that a chiropractor appointment, yoga and a walk was all I could handle today. I embrace my body for what it’s capable of. And I love myself for my determination to get stronger and healthier.

My body is a vessel of pain, brokenness, and wavered strength. But, my mind and heart are boats of love, courage, discipline and healing.

I am back in bed, feeling exhausted, achey and nauseous, but my heart is happy. I know that pushing myself to be stronger can be dangerous, but the athlete in me needs to be fed!

I may be in pain now, but I know that the activity will make a positive difference in my healing journey – physically, mentally and spiritually.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain or a chronic illness, I encourage you to push yourself. You don’t have to go for a 5 mile run, or go shopping all day. Just take a minute to stretch, to get blood flowing. Your future, healed body will appreciate the days that you pushed yourself in the midst of sickness. Do your best to have will power, don’t let your body make all of your decisions, let your mind have the final say, and make your heart happy.

Chose to push yourself. Make your heart happy. Smile.

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”



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