In the summer of 2016, my boyfriend turned fiancé turned husband and I went on a European adventure. We traveled to 5 different cities, we went to museums and ate great food and walked a bajillion miles. At the time I thought I could walk my mountainous journey in Tom's and Sketchers slip ons. My feet hurt so badly by Day 4 that I could barely function. But I am woman and we, by nature have a high pain tolerance so I pushed through.
Six months later, I could barely walk even though I was jogging everyday. I was in so much pain that it felt like I was walking on nails when I got up in the morning. The doctor says, "Vicki, you have Achilles tendinitis and there's not a lot we can do except stretch everyday and stop running."
What I'd do? I kept running.
Fast forward to three weeks ago that I go back to the Podiatrist because instead of nails under my feet, my right foot now feels like it's being sliced with a box cutter when I stretch it. He says, "Vicki, you had Achilles tendinitis, now you have a strained Achilles. The next step is for you to wear a boot for at least 3 months...unless you really stretch and stay off of it for 4 months..."
Good news - no boot. Bad news - ain't nothin' going to slow me down.
So last week I decided to go to a deep stretch class at a local yoga studio. They dim the lights and light candles and it feels very woo-woo in the best kind of way.
The instructor says, "stretching should always feel uncomfortable but it should never feel painful."
Have you ever heard the famous quote: when the student is ready, the teacher appears?
It was like I needed to hear that from her. So while I'd neglected my stretches and wound up with a strained Achilles, I've also been going through changes within myself of searching for more purpose and trying to feel more connected to my life's path.
I'm physically stretching to make my body stronger and heal my injury but I've found myself metophorically 'stretching' into new things that make me uncomfortable. I've written blogs calling myself fat, I've gone to local events by myself, I'll be sharing things with you in a future project that most people don't know. These things are not easy and I've come to the conclusion that if I want to keep trying new things that mental stretching will become part of my every day life.
Like yoga, stretching is a practice. It's not win or lose but more doing it to get better; to get stronger.
While I hope none of you ever have an Achilles injury because it literally sucks - I hope all of you remember the magic of stretching. Confetti flakes start to fly when you start taking chances. While you may be downward dogging out of your comfort zone, you are one warrior pose away from the amazing life you want to live.