Two days ago I started exercising again after a 4-month break following abdominal surgery and a move back to the mainland. The workout, which consisted of 30 minutes of Insanity and 1 hour of power yoga, was tough; but I got through it. One hour later, however, I could feel my muscles tightening up. To tell you the truth they were screaming at me. And then the dreadful 2 day later pain kicked in full swing. I found myself holding on to everything possible to make it up and down the stairs, in and out of my car, and let’s not even talk about the challenge of sitting on the toilet. Through this pain, I recalled the instructor repeatedly saying, “You’re not tired” and my response every time was, “Yes I am”. I had been here before, both as a student and a fitness instructor. Deep down I knew that in order for me to get past this pain I had to keep charging through it. And so, two days later I hear my girlfriend say “take two Aleve, get back in that gym, and dig deeper”. There was no turning back. No U-turns for me. To turn back meant I would one day have to feel this level of pain again. No thank you.
This is how trauma recovery works. You first acknowledge the awful pain you feel. You cannot avoid or deny the pain because it demands to be recognized. Blame that on our biological make up. So go ahead and let the pain have its moment. You then give it the necessary treatment it needs to begin to heal. Whatever that is for you: therapy, coaching, support groups, journaling, crying. The next step is to find a support system, even if that system involves just one person, and you allow your vulnerable self to be challenged to “dig deeper” and forge through the pain. Before you know it you will begin to feel stronger and the pain will take its rightful submissive place. Are you ready? There is no turning back now.