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By: V Capaldi Not going to lie I was raised in a family where going to work was how you got in a work-out. No one in my family ever once said, "I am going for a work-out or a run" in my entire childhood.

We had a beach house growing up that was 5 houses from the beach and my mom drove every day.

Working out was something I learned about thanks to Jane Fonda. Her video's exposed me to the power of a good sweat while satisfying my need to wear tights, spandex & a headband!

Aerobics was my movement drug of choice for me & the crew. Immediately after each class the 1st thing we all did was light a cigarette while sharing a nice cold can of coke. Imagine!

Never once questioning how much of an oxymoron this was. We worked out & truly believed we earned whatever we were doing.

Toxic workout.

Then MS decided to show up & Jane Fonda had to take a back seat. No longer was I hopping around while lifting body parts for the count of anything. Damn it.

For the next several years my workouts were consistent, however physical therapist defined. I literally would work out with my PT whose clients were professional athletes learning strength training, cardio & resistance work with Moses Malone, Andrew Tony, Darryl Strawberry and many more.

Healed myself enough so I put a full gym in my home. Right off my bedroom so I could use it everyday.  Which I did. In addition to walking track on average 5 days a week after dropping my kid off at school.  If it was cold outside, no problem I went to the mall before it opened (they do that on the east coast so you can walk).

After which I would go through my day eating sugar filled foods, making unhealthy choices because "I worked out."

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Toxic workout.

When MS decided it was time to disable my body I took to the pool for several years until building up enough strengthen to land myself on my hero the yoga mat.

Religiously I have been a devout yogi identifying yoga as a life long hero in my wellness "Bag of Tricks."

As yoga increased my ability to heal, move and kick MS to the curb I decided to do things like: yoga everyday for 30 days, started adding a spin class before my yoga, hired someone to help me train for a 5K, increased my work out time to 3 hours/6 days a week and so on you can see the pattern.  All in the name of beating MS.

Each time my body screaming with IT band pain, neck issues, foot pain and the list goes on.

This is what is supposed to happen when you work out. Right?!?

I was doing this not to have a perfect figure, lose weight or anything that has to do with what the eye can see. I was showing this dedication to stop MS from taking over my body. I had to be diligent. Right?!?

It was not working. In fact it was making my road to healing harder. Much harder.

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As luck would have it I learned about conscious eating and began to heal my body from MS using food. Also while dancing on a bar in 2014 (do not judge)  tore my meniscus.  Having MS surgery is not an option unless no other choice.

I began with a new PT who understood my concerns. His 1st few visits all he did was have me show him exactly what my work out's look like. Start to finish. He put me on a spin bike, yoga mat and walked outside, up & down stairs, watched me open drawers, cabinets, open & close doors which pretty much the whole time I was like okay this is insane. For hours he watched every move I made.

Yet by doing this almost instantly he offered simple and easy corrections.

1st order of business was he asked me to just STOP.  No yoga, spin, walks, Zumba, bike riding. No nothing.

He wanted to see what would happen if I were to allow my body to rest from intention workouts & to begin intentional workouts.

Becoming Aware of Toxic Workouts.

He asked me to consider healing by offering my body a movement conversation daily delivering what it tells you.  A work-out routine based on loving kindness of yourself.

What a freaking concept & one this BOSS at first was like, "Say what?" & "I will have what you are smoking!" 

A torn meniscus when you do not want surgery leaves you with no choice, but to listen. Hate that shit. Double damn it.

Within 3 months I realized all of my pains were gone. Yes I was still moving 6 days a week, but with focused purpose of loving my body.

Not trying to beat MS or to push myself as hard as possible. Instead daily listening to my body, life & person delivering what was needed to support the immediate journey ahead.

The sad truth is I was the norm before. Many if not most of us motivated for the wrong reasons to break a sweat.

An Exercise:

  • Imagine dancing every day or walking down the street for about 3 minutes with the only purpose to see what your body is saying. Mind & spirit.
  • Do this with the commitment to support the message.
  • Then define what will make the support happen.
  • What do you have & what do you need to support the desired outcome?
  • How long will it be approximately to complete the process while committing to it?

Then do it. Whatever it is.

For me it often requires time on the yoga mat, more dancing, self myo-fascial release work & walking.

By starting your day like this you are questioning the status quo daily with an openness to create a narrative.

A narrative that supports your person 100%.

By compartmentalizing wellness it becomes a thing. 

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Realizing my daily needs guided by a commitment to higher purpose removed all toxic workouts from my life & body has never been better. I literally cannot say enough about how liberating this has been for me & a huge growth factor in my wellness journey.

I really believe this is the reason why I can drive so far now. I was self injuring before due to excessive working out. Now I honor what my person needs, open my "Bag of Tricks" pulling out what I need & the love party begins.

Not subscribed? Damn it.

Would love you to consider joining the PBL community as we raise the roof on life & living!  #upYOURvolume

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