I suddenly screeched in pain and gasped for air as my bicep felt like it had taken a bullet.
It was one night after a shower. I had the towel behind me trying to dry my back with a lumberjack seesaw motion when the pain hit. I stumbled to the edge of the bathtub and sat down to collect my breath.
I attempted to slip on a sports bra over my head by sliding my wounded arm through the hole and using my other one to pull the elastic down.
I caught a glimpse of my ridiculous self in the bathroom mirror. I looked like a drunk Dodo Bird with a broken wing dancing in a circle.
As I stood staring at my not quite dressed self, I finally admitted, “I have a problem.”
Not only did my left shoulder burn like ten thousands sons of guns when I reached wrong, it had sidelined me from most physical activity for months. I’d grown accustomed to pajama pants more so than the stretchy work out kind.
I was messed up and I knew I had to do something.
I recalled that my super athletic friend had debilitating hip pain a few years back but had moved past the injury and is cycling 50 miles on weekends now. She had recently told me, “Dr. B. gave me my life back.”
I knew it was time for me– to get in touch with Dr. B.
A few weeks later, I arrived for my initial evaluation.
He asked me lots of questions. He had me doing squats. I stood still with my hands beside me. I walked up and down the hall. These things didn’t appear pertinent to a shoulder injury.
Ten minutes in, the doctor said, “I think I see the problem.”
I leaned forward and almost fell off the table waiting to hear his answer.
He smiled and said, “Your shoulder is complaining but the root cause seems to be in your hips.”
He made me stand up again and pointed at them, “Your hips are stabilizing your body and leading when you walk. Your hips aren’t made to pull you forward. It should be your core and your glutes pushing you ahead instead.” He demonstrated both motions as he spoke.
My mind drifted back to yoga class. How I’d uncomfortably sat straight and stiff like a jack-in-the-box during double pigeon while my classmates easily slumped forward over their criss-crossed legs. I was the only one in the room who was near tears in that heinous position. “Tight hips,” my instructor told me, as she walked around the room.
It all began to make sense.
Dr. B explained that sometimes we stop trusting our core muscles to do their job and start compensating in other ways.
“Your hips are doing the brunt of the work and they’re tired. They’re telling you through your shoulder,” he said.
He took me into another room and pointed to a poster of the musculoskeletal system. He traced the muscles with his finger from the front of the hip around the torso and up the back. He explained how overworked hips lead to my current condition.
He told me we needed to fix my shoulder but more importantly teach my body to work the way it is supposed to- the way God designed it.
And he made a treatment plan.
I’ve been following the doctor’s orders for 10 weeks and I feel stronger than I have in a long time.
While Dr. B works his magic on my shoulder to cure the symptoms, his movement expert, Dani, is teaching me how to use my core and my butt to walk properly. Bit by bit, she is reminding my neurons to fire in the order they are created to.
Dani and Dr. B. are answered prayers for me. I want my body to work like God designed it. I want to be at my best, so I can put my best back into the world.
And while putting my best in the world is partly based on how well my body works, it’s even more important that my spirit is sound.
Like our core is designed to fire first and stabilize our physical bodies, our spirits are designed to fire first and stabilize our minds, emotions, and actions.
But things are often out of order, with our minds, actions or emotions firing first.
This can lead to all kinds of pain in our personal and professional lives- anxiety, anger, insomnia, depressed feelings, exhaustion, stress, strained relationships, and more.
Maybe like my shoulder pain, your symptoms not only burn like ten thousands sons of guns, they have you sidelined from success, peace, and joy in your life. Maybe you’ve grown more accustomed to settling for the status quo than reaching for your dreams.
That can all change if you want it to.
Like Dr. B. did for me, I want to alleviate your symptoms, but more importantly, I want to tackle the root cause of the malfunction. I want to help you train your spirit to fire first so God can stabilize your life and accomplish more than you might think or imagine through the Power at work within you.
We have to start small and build our spiritual muscles- our “noticing” muscle, our “listening” muscle, our “gratitude” muscle, our “forgiveness” muscle, our “patience” muscle, our “trust” muscle.
Starting Monday, September 4th, we are taking a gentle, simple, step by step process together- training our spirits to fire first.
We will learn how to maximize our mornings so that we can get our lives back… and root them in the One who gave them to us in the first place.
Sign up before Sunday, September 3rd to get in.
Here’s to reclaiming the lives we are meant to live!
Also published on Medium.