“Metatarsal Stress Fracture” utters the socially awkward physician as he fails to make eye contact with me. I am 3 hours from home in a specialist’s office being given the news that to me, at this time in my life, feels devastating. I have been in denial that my foot has been hurting for over a year. Quit running and stop with extended periods of walking. You have to stay off of it and let it heal. “Not exactly what I was hoping to hear” but at least thankful there’s an explanation. Quit walking! That was my go-to for decades. The hardest part of any exercise regime is starting, just getting out the door. A psychological mind-game, if you will. Don’t feel like running? Oh well just go for a walk. You know you can’t resist once you get out there to feel the reward of a run. The initial feeling of fatigue for the first few minutes, then you find your breath and your stride and you’re off. Finishing with rapid breaths, your heart rate increased and glistening skin. Sounds “Euphoric” and it is. Now quit doing it. Chalk it up to age, bad genetics and the repetitive stress of an activity and hang up your running shoes. I am by no means a running fanatic just an easy 5k a few times a week and as a pre-warm up. I never found the high some find at the longer runs. I tried several events. I remember starting off my first 10K with a vengeance in the River Valley only to feel defeated at the sheer inability to run the whole distance due to the intense banks and backcountry trails. I never thoroughly enjoyed an organized race other than the opportunity to raise funds for a charity event. The thought of checking in and standing around waiting for the beginning took the fun out of it for me, perhaps a slightly introverted view. But can I spare 30 – 45 minutes in my day and feel “Euphoric” you bet. It’s all about what works for you. In the past year my exercise regime has gone out the window. I blamed it on the psychological “over 50” syndrome. Now I am faced with “adaptation” once again. I have been adapting my exercise program since a young age. I remember, my excitement at starting Tae-Kwon-Do. An overly enthusiastic mother-of-three sharing the floor with a wide range of students in our white uniforms and belts. My sole purpose to exercise. I was dropping off kids and waiting in lobbies after work with no “me” time. I began sparring outside of class with friends. There is something extremely therapeutic about entering a ring with the sole purpose of “contacting” your opponent with a controlled yet physical blow. We can all agree when you’re doing something you like, it really isn’t exercise. My adaptation today is YOGA. Looking for an option that reduced joint impact and inflammation I looked to our town’s webpage to see what things were being offered. Yoga, although it has been around for centuries seems to have developed a new following. I was extremely skeptical about my first class. I found myself dismissing the notion every time it popped into my head. I was a gym type person, run and weights not YOGA. I don’t know where my preconceptions were based but they were definitely false. I convinced my exercise partner, who too after 45, has been adapting to relieve an injury. There are always strength and comfort in numbers. We enrolled through a great new App “MindBody”. I am amazed at the technology out there today. This hits it on many levels for me. No person to talk to, just pick your class, pay and show up. I settled down on my yoga mat that was available at the front desk for free trials. Elated that all you required was comfortable clothes, no shoes, no socks. Even in a hectic state, after work, I could remember to bring my feet. And hectic the day was. We all have them when the day starts with running out the door coffee sloshing over the cup, grab the keys, get your head in the game start to your morning. Followed by constant conflict at the office, no time for lunch and then back out the door…. to exercise, not exactly motivational. I sat on my mat, looking around, confirming my perception of Yoga. Not going to be much of a workout everyone sat quiet
legs crossed, eyes closed. A smirk crossed my face. I was use to the clanging of weights and groans (yes, they groan) from the stations throughout the gym. Quite a transition from the traditional classes I have tried. My instructor enters and takes her spot at the front of the class. “Lengthen your spine, leave all your concerns and stresses and breathe deeply in a full belly breath and exhale. Concentrate on your Ujayyi breath. This is your practice do what feels right for you and your body. Your practice will differ from side to side and day to day. Don’t concentrate on what the person next to you is doing but on you. “ I was led through challenging yet relaxing poses being held for several seconds. My body was shaking with the controlled resistance from my body’s weight. A very deliberate, controlled movement of stretching, balancing, and strength. I was hooked never have I felt so relaxed yet challenged in an exercise program. Encouraged to try sun salutations, crow pose, and warrior poses all to what felt good for my body. We ended the class with “Savasana” the corpse pose aptly named. Palms up, body relaxed and stretched out my instructor quietly instructs. “Scan the body from head to toe looking for tension to release”. I am hooked “Namaste” meaning I bow to you. May the rest of your day be filled with peace and positivity. I left the studio with the most enlightened state of just that peace and positivity. I always believe in fate. It isn’t great that I have to hang up my running shoes, but I never would have become a Yogi had that change not transpired in my life. “Adaptation” learn to go with the flow is an essential in exercise.