I have two 65 lb. boxers who I absolutely adore. Rocco is almost 8 and is such a sweetheart. He listens, and always has been good, even as a puppy. Never chewed anything except his toys. So good on the leash. Never got table food so didn’t beg ever. I could ride my bike with him right by my side on the leash and he would never cross my path or yank me off to crash.
Bubba is 3 and he’s the alpha male. No doubt. He’s rambunctious and bullheaded. He’s stubborn and crazy. And we love him to death. When my now fiance and I started dating 3 years ago, he was even more crazy and not trained. I took it upon myself after years of watching Cesar Milan and learning so much to get this dog to be his best. I was determined.
Over time, and with a lot of patience, we worked on so much. He no longer bombards people when they walk in the front door. He doesn’t sit under my step son’s lap every time he eats and wait for food to drop. He doesn’t jump up or sleep on our bed. And the walks on the leash.. Oh my goodness… SO much better.
I don’t know many girls my size (5 ft 3 inches tall and about 125 lbs) who could walk TWO 65 lb boxers down the street calmly and in control. And trust me, it took months to get Bubba to learn that yanking me down the street at full speed is NOT ok! Darting and jumping at squirrels, other dogs, people wearing hats… whatever distracted him was what he lunged at with all his strength. And man, is he strong and boy did my right shoulder take the brunt of it over time.
I am proud of myself. And Cesar Milan would be too! This dog has done a complete 360. A little bit of patience can go a long way…
No Power Yoga Due to Shoulder Injury
A couple of months ago I realized low plank in yoga no longer felt good! I felt a pinch in my right shoulder. Not thinking anything of it, I started going to my chiropractor and massage therapist as I have done in the past in hopes that I would be healed in no time. I also should mention that the timing of this shoulder pain was not ideal as I am getting married this September. I was just about ready to ramp up my physical fitness routine to tone my arms a little more. I love burpees. And planks. And the urban rebounder. Anyway, really toned arms is something I have always wanted and what better time to work on that than before the biggest day of your life!
Injuries teach us SOOO much! And they creep up sometimes out of nowhere! I kept going back 2-4 times a week and realizing after almost THREE months the pain wasn’t really getting ANY better! So frustrating. I bought a sling thinking I would just give it a rest and not use it and that really didn’t last very long. I use my right arm for EVERYTHING. Cutting lemons, washing my hair, WALKING THE DOGS, brushing my teeth, stirring the crockpot. You name it. Wow. What an eye opener.
I can’t tell you how many people asked me if I am seeing an orthopedic to get an MRI. If you know one thing about me, I am stubborn as shit. In my head, I was going to heal on my own no matter how long it takes. I will not get a cortizone shot just to mask the pain for a while. I will do whatever it takes to get better as I know the body has a tremendous ability to heal itself. This is not the first time I have been injured. I remember ten years ago when I had really bad carpal tunnel syndrome from waitressing too much and using my left wrist to hold a platter of food for a table of people. Over time that really takes a toll on our bodies. It is usually the daily activities that add up and cause stress in our bodies that lead to these injuries. (Ahem, like walking a crazy boxer) Massage was the only thing that helped as massaging the knots out of the forearms seemed to do the trick. Most people would have looked into carpal tunnel surgery. Not this girl. I will exhaust EVERY option before the S word. Every option.
With the September wedding deadline becoming closer and closer, and my frustration growing deeper and deeper, a friend had said to me “Have you tried acupuncture for your shoulder?” For once in my life, I was speechless. LOL. Acupuncture? For an injury? Ok, I am in!
I started in March and it has been such an experience. I had been told you need to go about 10 times as it is cumulative and gets better the more you go. Cool. I am in. Went twice a week and still going. I love it!
It was a roller coaster of emotions as what I was starting to realize was LOTS of emotions stuck in my shoulder! The first couple of times I left acupuncture I cried. Not because it hurt but because something was releasing. “Emotions are stuck in the hips and shoulders. That is where tension lives.” Yada yada yada. This is what I preach to my yoga students!!! But after each session of getting it worked on, and as the tears streamed down my face, I realized how true those words were. This is more than just a boxer yanking me down the street. I have been holding so much in my shoulders, for YEARS, as we all do. This is a huge lesson. Huge.
The timing of it being one of the biggest years in my life? I turned 40 in January, I am getting married in September on the Chesapeake to the love of my life who I had to wait 37 years to meet AND Sol Yoga Studio turns 5!!!!! Milestone year! This shoulder is forcing me to slow down. It is forcing me to be calm and not get so caught up in the never ending to-do list. It is teaching me that life is all about little things.
As my stubbornness lessened over the past few months, I finally sucked it up and got an MRI, which I had to pay out of pocket for since my insurance is not so great. Awesome. Another lesson. All good. I got this.
Results came back the same day.. Torn rotator cuff. ARGHHHHHHH.
I sat on it and thought about it. My honeymoon is in November in Costa Rica. One of my bucket list items has been to zipline there. I will do what it takes to heal this shoulder so that happens. I have time and it will heal!
As I have been healing and crying and my energy has been shifting, I am realizing how amazing this whole experience has been. It is far from over but my attitude towards it has totally changed for the better.
Physical therapy has been introduced into my routine too. As I said, I will exhaust ALL my options before the S word. ALL OF THEM. I have been blessed with the people in my life who have been helping me and teaching me things to get thru it. New exercises, cupping which is amazing, stretches, natural remedies. I am truly blessed.
Your Yoga Mat Will Always be There When You are Ready
It’s been WEEKS since I’ve been on my yoga mat. WEEKS! I have been practicing for over 18 years! In the grand scheme of things, a couple of weeks isn’t going to make or break me. Again, I think it is the universe saying, “Embrace the break. Your mat will always be there for you when you are ready. You need this time.”
Yoga is not just about the postures. It also has a lot to do with breath as we all know, without it, the poses are ten times harder. I believe this time off of my mat is teaching me to work on my breathing more. Talk about it more. Teach it. I’ve been meditating A LOT, consistently every day and sometimes even more if I need it. It has been a GAME CHANGER! It is getting me thru this interesting time.
In the grand scheme of things, it could always be worse, right? Yeah I have an injury that is laying me up a little, but I am able to move my body. I am surrounded by amazing people. I am passionate about what I do. I am learning so much thru this experience because change is good. There is always a lesson if we are open to it. The lesson keeps getting repeated until we learn it.
And I am alive. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Sol Yoga Studio, Conshohocken, PA
Sol Yoga Studio is located in Conshohocken, minutes away from Blue Bell and Plymouth Meeting. The studio offers various classes, power yoga, vinaysa, and kids yoga. Click here to see our class schedule. If you are new to our studio, first class is FREE.