Have you ever taken a step back from what you were doing and gotten a different point of view that changed your life? Whether it’s relationships, work, or in my case, physical fitness. Many times these brief glimpses you may be blessed to receive in life are not chosen but forced on us. You may have a friend or mentor who is telling you the same thing over and over again until you finally see it. For me, it was an injury that made me step back and see things in a whole new light.
About five to six months ago, everything was going great. My chiropractic office in Sandy Springs was growing; my family was happy with our newest addition, my daughter Silde, slowly integrating herself into our lives; and my fitness was going good, or at least I thought it was. As a chiropractor I am constantly teaching my clients about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising, how your body needs proper nutrition, a routine of cardiovascular and strength training and regular chiropractic adjustments to live your life to the fullest! The question is, was I doing all of those things as well?
Several months ago, our staff members and I went on a team-building getaway. We went paddle boarding at Morgan Falls Overlook, which is a very beautiful lake if you are ever over that way. This was exciting for me because I had never been paddle boarding before. For all of you who are worried, it’s not that difficult once you stand up and get your balance. But really if you fall in anyway, it’s not bad because the cold river water is quite refreshing on a hot summer’s day. At one point we passed an area where you have the option of jumping off some cliff ledges into the water. I have done this before many times, at much higher heights throughout my entire life. It is something I love to do! I must have done something different this time — maybe it’s due to my age — but I didn’t stick the landing right at all! I left the team-building day overflowing with pride for our team and pain from my tailbone and lower back. Over the next month, I felt pain every time I sat down. This is where the real story begins.
For the next six to eight weeks after injuring my tailbone, I did not exercise at my favorite gym, CrossFit Perimeter. Over this time, I was getting adjusted three times a week and being very mindful of my body positioning while doing everything from adjusting to getting in and out of the car. I had been working out three to four times a week for nearly a year before I was injured and getting adjusted about once every other week. Not being able to work out anymore gave me a chance to reflect on the way I had been living my life while giving my body some time to heal.
The pain finally subsided enough for me to get back in the gym. I was nervous and anxious at the same time, kind of like when I first came in to the CrossFit gym a year earlier except this time it was not foreign to me; it just felt different. My first workout was painful and challenging. My body had gotten weak over the previous eight weeks of minimal exercise, but I felt great! Day after day, I began to regain my strength, but this time it came with a deep feeling of joy. This is when I realized that before I had gotten injured, I was taking certain things for granted, my health specifically. During my recovery, I was more diligent about getting adjusted. I was more observant of good posture, because bad posture hurt! And I really missed working out. Now my body was healed and my nerves more clear of stress than they had been for years previous.
So what’s the point of this story? If I did not get injured, I may have not have been reminded of the value of getting adjusted regularly, exercising with a purpose, and feeding your body what it needs to thrive! Empathy is one of the best qualities a doctor can have. It allows you to put yourself in your patient’s shoes and meet them where they are, suffering. Being reminded of the value of living what you preach has only made me a better chiropractor and person for my family and, most importantly, my community.