Small Gains for Big Pains

Small Gains for Big Pains
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, or been coached by me, you will know I am a big fan of small steps. In fact I often insist on it.

As a small pain in my shoulder became a bigger pain, I booked an appointment for physical therapy. As it turns out, I’ve been forced to experience the impatience that comes with small steps and slow progress.

I’m a weight lifter, after all. I’m used to a little discomfort. Lifting a soup can while lying on my side doesn’t feel like much at all. Dangling my arm and making small circles feels like even less.

But I am disciplined and stubborn and not willing to tolerate this limited flexibility and pain. So, I do what I’m told. I’m counting eleven sessions now over two months and the progress is, well, . . . very slow.

But there is progress.

That’s not all. A wee pain in my leg has returned. Ugghh! Of course my therapist can fix that too. Repairing my shoulder involves strengthening my neck and back. And my leg is no isolated matter either. It’s all connected.

I can’t help but think about the parallels here with weight loss. Focusing on the physical body alone, you know, calories in/calories out, offers a smaller chance of success than if you get your whole being and whole life involved.

You don’t need all the actions and strategies at once. You just need to keep moving, taking one small step after the other – even if it feels like you’re just lifting a soup can.

Don’t ever underestimate the effect of small steps and small movements. As far as my injuries go, that’s how they occurred and that’s how they will be healed. The same is likely true for you.

Don’t make my mistake and wait too long to take action, unless you have a lot of patience.