Harvesting Wisdom from Pain

Readers, I have spent the last eight months plagued by a very persistent right hip and lower back issue. As you might imagine, the long process of untangling this particular knot has caused me some degree of psychological strain. I feel like I’m halfway through a box of poorly stored Christmas tree lights. I’ve got some of the work done, but there’s still enough of a problem left that I’m getting discouraged.

In the midst of the frustration, however, I try to remind myself how much I’ve learned from confronting this problem. Over the years, investigating my aches and pains has provided me with more wisdom than any other aspect of my training. Not only that, but the lessons learned while trying to reconstruct my dysfunctional body have heavily informed my clinical practice, granting me insight into the problems others are facing and a head start on solving them.

I’m not going to tell you that you should celebrate you injuries and feel awesome about them, because obviously they still suck. But, it can be helpful and encouraging to look at every injury or setback as an opportunity to harvest new ideas and become even stronger.

This back and hip problem have made me painfully aware of how stiff my entire lumbo-pelvic complex really is, and how much potential I have to improve my movement ability through rectifying that stiffness. Even though the pain is still there, I’ve made huge gains in mobility and coordination through my hips and spine.

So, take heart. You may be caught in a fearsome storm right now, but it is through surviving great storms that great captains are made.

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