What To Do When Your Body Doesn’t Co-Operate

by Ali Piazza

My boyfriends 10 year old daughter is getting an MRI in a few weeks. Her knee has been been swollen and painful for over 6 weeks now. The doctors will be checking for juvenile arthritis. She is an avid soccer player with dreams of going to the Olympics one day.

A grade 8 student at my school has dreams of becoming a dancer. Her back has recently been giving her problems. The doctors have told her that her arches in her feet are really high and therefore her core is not aligned properly. It is causing the discs in her back to slip, which causes a lot of pain. She cannot miss more than 2 practices or she will be kicked off the dance team.

These are young girls who desire a life full of physical activity and at this point, it is uncertain whether or not situations beyond their control will allow their dreams to be fulfilled. I know that Avery (my boyfirend’s daughter) has been having a tough time dealing with it, and understandably so. No one wants arthritis, especially not a 10 year old girl.

Anybody with an injury or an illenss can relate.

I was in an accident at the end of April which resulted in getting whiplash. I went to physio therapy twice a week for months. And now, I can go through most of my day pain free, but I still can’t do the physical activity that I used to be able to do.

I’ve recently been feeling frumpy, so to help myself out I put on some music and danced around my condo. Dancing always helps me to feel sexier. But now my back is in pain. It’s not excruciating, but it’s still pain.

It’s the same with my flamenco dancing and weight lifting and hard core aerobics. I love the movement and music of flamenco. I love working out and pushing my body as hard as I can go, feeling my sweat and strength. I love the sense of accomplishment when I know I killed it. And now I can’t do any of it without pain.

So what do I do?

Stop exercising and feel the discomfort of feeling frumpy and lethargic due to lack of movement and serotonin production? Or continue to exercise and feel the discomfort of physical pain? Which is the lesser of two evils? Which form of discomfort should I choose?

What would I tell Avery if she were to ever confide in me?

I would tell her to do what she can, but to listen to her body. I would tell her to treat her body with the care and love it deserves even though it’s not doing what she wants. I would tell her to find another activity that gives her joy. I would tell her to walk the middle ground – move what she can, when she can. I would tell her to push herself hard enough to grow, which means some pain, but not so hard that she will be bed ridden.

What would you say? What would you tell Avery, or someone else whose body isn’t working in ideal form?

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/P4Vq18

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