For 20 years I played competitive volleyball; thousands of swings of my shoulder. No injuries. So what finally conquers my machine of a shoulder? Overuse from an eclectic mix of activities: serious ping pong over the holidays, yoga, mousing, pilates (plus an additional holiday challenge of 100 crunches, push-ups, and squat jumps daily for 10 days), and writing. Is this really the state of my life? Writing on the chalkboard generates pain?
Alas, my body has changed. And it's important for me to listen. So I promised my massage therapist (and myself) that I'd take a 3-week break from downdog, plank, and push-ups. (Big gulp from ego.)
This first week of shoulder rest was interesting. I notice the tension I hold when performing basic acts--gripping a pen, gesticulating in class, typing. How I mindlessly blow through activities while keeping this tension. But when I am mindful, I release just a bit; just enough. It's another lovely lesson in listening to my body, practicing mindfulness, and releasing the perceived control I feel when holding so tightly. (Note to self: I hold no tension when I dance to music in my living room.)
This body is too precious to treat it with anything but kindness. Yes I often find myself pushing through, ignoring slight aches and pains. Even as I've backed off my rigorous exercise schedule, I still don't always listen. (Another place for pesky ego to sneak in.) So now I work with rest. Indeed, deep rest is what my body craves.