Move away from chronic pain, not towards it

“Just wait till you get older”

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard woeful tales of bodies getting older…

You can’t do the things you used to…

Everything starts to hurt…

And there’s nothing you can do about it!

True, bodies wear out…
They become a bit less resilient…
A bit less bouncy…

But even among my age group…
I don’t seem to have a comparable experience with aging.

At the height of my teenage years into early adulthood I was a couch potato.

Actually I was a computer geek to be more specific.

I was more interested in playing video games than spending time outside.

I had asthma and allergies.

I ate whatever and was often sick.

And as I head ever closer towards 40 I feel better now than I did back then.

Even though currently, I’m rehabbing a bit of a complicated knee injury…

It’s basically a series of different sports injuries that never got the attention they needed early on, and has developed a bit of an Achilles’ heel in my knee, which can ultimately lead to pain in other parts of my body.

Like my glutes, hamstrings, and calf will get bound up with a lot of tension trying to keep my knee safe from re-injury.

And just recently my neighbor warned me just how bad it’ll be as I get older, while in the same breath mentioning how surprised they were at how doing some yoga really helped.

This is important.

Because we either lock away entire parts of our body into the unconscious realm, ignoring injuries and sensations so we can continue on our merry way as if everything is normal…

Which tends to make things worse.

Or…

We stop moving altogether…

We shrink away from sensation and become more fearful of exploration.  Forever destined to spend our days making decisions based on avoiding pain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

With the right kind of movement and attention, we can move away from chronic pain instead of towards it.

For example,

If I walk a couple miles through my neighborhood in my barefoot shoes…
On the flat, repetitive concrete streets…

The leg I’m rehabbing starts to get a bit unhappy and my hips start to tighten up.

But yesterday…

I did 6 ½ miles barefoot in the woods…
Through hills and valleys…
Through uneven slopes, tree roots, and sand…

And the whole time I felt great…

No nagging pains…

No mysterious tightness…

I just felt good and well spent.

And this is what 1.6 billion years of evolution has to teach us about moving well into old age.

Until next time,
Kevin