My shoulders started to tighten up after I injured my spine when I was nine years old.
But, looking back at photos of me as a kid, my shoulders appear to be in their proper alignment.
As I got older, injuries began to stack on top of each other. This had a compounding effect on my shoulders, making them tighter and more rounded.
Even though I dedicated myself to stretching them every day for years and did gain flexibility and relief from pain, my shoulders were not REALLY changing.
As the years went by, I found myself wishing each day, that they would just change and return to their proper alignment.
Then one day my wish came true...
Be Careful What You Wish For
Last year I worked with Rebecca Leone and she used a protocol on me that got to the root of my problem.
In two hours, she brought my pelvis back into alignment.
The results were amazing!
- My lower back pain vanished
- My left leg started working correctly again
- My right hip was no longer tight
- My sinuses even opened up
and...you guessed it
- My shoulders came back into alignment
I was stoked and I felt great!
Happily Ever After
Relieving my back pain and fixing my shoulders had been a goal of mine for so long. I was on cloud nine and I took great pleasure in checking those nagging issues off my list.
But, I didn't think about life after happily ever after...
A few weeks later my arms felt weak. I had always been wickedly strong in my upper body but now, I could barely carry my grocery bags in the house.
I felt like a kitten who doesn't have strength or good motor control over its limbs yet.
Still, I didn't think too much of the weakness, thinking it would pass. And since I felt great, I said yes to going out with friends for a day of climbing.
The day went great!
A crack climb (not my forte) was the only climb left on the wall and so I went for it.
It didn't take much.
My foot slipped and the next day I was shocked to find out that I had dislocated my left shoulder as this picture was being taken.
Lamenting my woes
I was sharing this information with a fellow Pilates instructor and her insight was spot on.
She was right. I hadn't seen it myself because I was too busy basking in the light of my pain free, shoulder aligned body.
I had forgotten a cardinal rule.
I think it's THAT part about change that we don't think about or like.
You gain something AND you lose something.
Was my shoulder strength functional before ? No. But it got me where I am today and I was pretty comfortable with that narrative about myself.
I had no idea how much my shoulders were really holding. My back injury, my identity, how I spoke about myself, and my fears of not being strong.
Now the landscape is all new and that makes me uneasy. But one foot in front of the other and I'll be to the top of this climb again before you know it. :-)