One thing I’ve always been super twiggy and nervous about is injuries. I have this catastrophic horror story in my head where I twist an ankle or hurt my back or something and can’t exercise at all for long enough that I lose all of my health progress and have to start again from zero. This is, of course, mostly silly and wildly exaggerated.
But I have in fact had two little injuries in the past few weeks, each from biting off a little more than I could chew.
As to the first, I’ve been progressing further and further with my yoga practice, which I’ve been massively enjoying. I am still a solid level one, but have been more and more doing exciting poses I never thought I could do. One thing that feels like it’s been holding me back a lot, though, has been my super tight hamstrings. My hamstrings keep me from bending over very far at all with straight legs (I can’t touch my toes), and require me to modify many poses. So I’d been working and working and working on them, trying and trying to touch my toes… until one evening my leg starting hurting a lot, and I realized I’d actually strained a hamstring. It was a very light strain and I mostly ended up spending an evening on top of an icepack and a couple of days without doing any yoga. I’m totally fine now, but it was a fantastic shot across the bow — a reminder not to push too hard, and to let my body work at its own pace. A very yoga-esque lesson!
But apparently I didn’t quite learn it, and the universe decided to remind me. This weekend, I visited a friend’s new house in another city. The new place is a sight to be seen and actually contains an in-house aerial silks rig! After watching a couple of friends twirl and flip elegantly in the air, I decided to fool around a little myself. Trying my hardest, with great difficulty and with the coaching of friends, I actually managed to climb up to the middle of the silks and slide down again! I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement and pride. It felt like I had learned to fly! Later that day, even though my arms were exhausted, I went kayaking, unable to resist the call of a beautiful day and a lovely set of wetlands trails. And… now I have a strained shoulder, three days later. I intend to baby the shoulder as much as I can until I’m 100% better, because I have learned to value my activity level too much to risk aggravating a minor injury into a huge one.
So I’m still working on learning to take care of myself and gain strength and flexibility safely, but luckily these little injuries are proving a good reminder that, while they are no fun, hurting myself definitely doesn’t mean the end of the world, or even the end of all exercise.
And I totally can’t wait for my first aerial silks class. I’m sold!