Why do I post this particular picture? It represents achievement, strength, and determination to overcome obstacles in my life. This is one of my most cherished photo shoots with Gene X of Orange Photography.
I was celebrating many things including my 45th birthday. More than that, I achieved what I thought impossible overcoming a year of physical struggle from injury. This was my true celebration of recovery, happiness and moving forward in my life overall.
I have a cervical injury (double fusion) and unfortunately, another disc herniated above that area. This left me disabled for a year and told it would most likely be permanent without reconstructive surgery. It was a horrible time in my life and all I could do was lay on ice packs and pray. I refused surgery and determined to heal myself through physical therapy and rest. Long story short, it was one of the most painful years physically and emotionally as an athlete. I felt stripped, fearful and suffered daily.
I refused to give up, had daily talks with God, and a great neuro physical therapist by my side. Together, through pain, ice, tears, and perseverance I began my journey of creating a new me. This was definitely a push through the pain to get to the other side moment. My faith dwindled and feelings of hopelessness were almost a daily occurrence in the beginning. After several months of therapy, I began showing signs of improvement. Each week produced baby steps of physical repair.
During this time I really embraced the positive power of everything positive (if that makes sense). I've always been a positive person, but going through the process of injury and recovery seemed to magnify it 100x more. Triumphant is a great word! My recovery was one of the most amazing feats of self-improvement accomplished in my life.
Why do I share this story? I want to inspire, encourage and motivate you. We have all experienced things and sometimes we are brought to our knees. The important message is to never give up hope. The circumstance may seem dark at the beginning because we're unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We will never understand the reason why some things happen either, but how we respond to the obstacles of life is what makes us healthy people.
Although there are many things I am unable to do, I embrace those things I can do. Recovering from injury or illness will be a struggle but there is renewed strength stemming from our determination to overcome. Celebrate the new person you have become and without even knowing it, you are motivating others going through similar circumstances.
Remember you are never too old, it's never too late, or circumstance too difficult to become your best healthy self. It may be different compared to before an injury or illness, but it can be better. When we focus on being positive and doing what we can at our current fitness level, that is what matters.
Life is pretty darn good and giving up just isn't our option. We may feel like quitting when life feels bigger than us and those feelings are valid. It's ok to go through the motions of the feelings but realize they are temporary. We eventually need to will that strength and determination deep inside ourselves and power forward.
Obstacles are difficult, challenging, and often painful but we are stronger. We can accomplish great things, become better, healthier and fitter than ever before through our journey.
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