Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September Blog Hop: Beauty, Body & Wellness

I am a little late getting to this month's blog hop.  I went straight from surgery recovery to Las Vegas for Pole Expo and then back to work.  I am having a hard time getting caught up and back on track with how to work and have fun.  Check out other posts on Beauty, Body & Wellness HERE.  

I want to discuss taking care of yourself in general when facing an injury.  I want to discuss weight with Health At Every Size in mind.  I don't want this to become a discussion about weight loss, but I do want to discuss how my body feels right now having been so inactive for the last several months.  

I started my new job in San Francisco last October.  I went from driving in my truck to a job about 25 miles away (up to an hour sitting in traffic) to sitting or standing on a train for 40 minutes with a 7-10 minute walk to the BART station and a 8-12 minute walk to work from the BART station.  Even though I have been pretty active for years, my foot started hurting almost immediately.  It wasn't until January that I actually went to the doctor and found out I have a bone spur in my heel, which was aggravating the plantar fascia and causing pain.  In April, the pain started to become unbearable.  Flash forward to August, when I had surgery to cut the fascia, and now, to September, where I am in the middle of my recovery phase.  Full recovery takes about three months, which will be the first week of November.

My body hurts.  Not always the foot that had surgery (sure, it's sore but it rarely hurts), but the rest of my body hurts from not moving enough.  My opposite hip, knee and foot are in pain.  My lower back hurts.  My mid-back hurts.  All because my body needs more movement.  

I am a compulsive eater.  When I am stressed out, sad, bored, tired, or whatever, I use food as a soothing mechanism.  I have used activity for most of my life to counter-act the overeating.  I had gained some weight a few years back but had maintained a fairly stable weight for at least the past two and a half years.  Removing activity from my life puts me in danger of gaining weight.  I don't want to act like gaining weight is the worst thing that can happen to a person but, for myself, I am not comfortable at this weight and would not like to be any more uncomfortable  Pole dancing is one of the activities I use to keep myself at a comfortable weight.  

Pole dancing is a sport that puts many of us at high risk for injury.  We put a lot of stress on our wrists, arms and shoulders.  Some of us go upside down and are at risk of falling on our heads.  We can pull muscles and throw out our backs.  We smack our legs.  We pinch our inner arms.  We get bruises.  And sometimes when we get injured, we just keep going.  No pain, no gain.  That's what we are told.

That isn't always the best way to deal with an injury.  I was not really able to dance toward the end, but I taught my class right up until surgery.  I don't know if that was the best decision, but I did what I felt I needed to do.  Post-surgery, however, I have tried to be kinder to myself.  Recovery is a very important part of growing and becoming stronger.  

The first two weeks post-surgery, I was on crutches and I sat in my chair and rested, just like the doctor ordered.  I could do some leg lifts and would stretch from the chair, but I did not push any limits.  After I was released to swim, I got in the pool.  I could also do a few more yoga poses and foam rolling on the floor.  At Pole Expo in Vegas, I wasn't technically released to do pole, so I canceled my pole workshop but did sign up for non-pole workshops:  belly dance, exotic fire dance and SWAG with Roz.  They were all a really good introduction back into the world of dance and exercise.

I have recently been released to ride a bike.  I am going to start spin classes next week and am hoping to start yoga in October.  I also plan to return to teaching pole in October.  We have a showcase at the end of October called Trick or Twirl, but I will not be performing.  I don't want to push it.  I have another doctor's appointment at the end of September and hope to be released to hike a little.  Once I am released to jog, I want to start signing up for 5k's again.  I felt like doing races gave me a goal to work towards.

So, if you are facing an injury, even though I know you will be eager to get back to pole as soon as possible, take time to allow your body to heal properly.  In the long run, it will make you a stronger poler and hopefully help you avoid re-injuring yourself. 

Be well, my pole family!  I miss you all and hope to be back very soon!

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