Tag Archives: injury

The Horse and the Sugar Cube

Yet another gem of wisdom my dad said to me during a phone call yesterday, “Some days you’re the horse and some days you’re the sugar cube”.

We get what we want from life when we least expect it. Sometimes we work hard with our heads down and blinders on and seemingly out of nowhere- life hands us a sugar cube.

I filed a claim through a government fund for people hit by uninsured drivers and I have been doing my best to pretend I understand what is happening as the process rolls on. One of the regulars at the gym, who happens to be a lawyer, suggested I actually get advice from a colleague of his.  Since my education teaches me how to remedy my physical injuries and not remedy my bank account after time off, it makes a lot of sense. I had spoken to someone after the accident who advised me to go through the fund and sent me on my gimpy way. I dislike legal terms and paperwork so I wasn’t too rushed. After delaying for months, I made an appointment to meet this new lawyer I had heard so much about.

One year after the accident and one year before the deadline to take legal action. Off I go.

When this woman walks into a room, she commands attention with a confidence and presence that arrives like a smoke machine before she enters. When she starts talking, you know she is smart. Not in a condescending or arrogant way; you just appreciate you aren’t against her in a game show or a spelling bee. She had an alarmingly realistic horse statue in her office that made it even easier to be distracted from the legal terms and fast paced questions. Maybe my lack of ability to keep up worked in my favour; I’m not too proud to get the pity vote once in a while. We spoke for over an hour about my case and all of my options and it wasn’t until she brought up payment that I nervously glanced at my watch and tried to guess how close my credit card was to its limit.

She politely asked me if she was wrong to assume I was tight for funds, but she had me all figured out so my response was some sort of slurred mumble combined with a shrug. Then she dropped the nuclear bomb that is her hourly rate. My irregular heart beat straightened itself out for a moment there and I know I am not subtle so she probably had paramedics on standby. However, in some twist of fate angels began singing and I think a spot light came on as she said she would take my case with only a cut at the end.

The fact that I was “adorable” was what won her over… I was going for professional but close enough, right.

I really dragged my feet on this, and almost ignored someone trying to show me what was in my best interest. This “sugar cube” was dangling in front of me for so long, I am lucky it was still there when I wanted it.

As I told my lawyer on my way out: I’m sure glad she is on my side.

The guy that hit me and drove away is one sweet sugar cube and my horse just started running.


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The Start of Something Good

To rebuild something implies that you want to replicate what existed before. I am not rebuilding but I am recreating. An upgraded model you could say.

Too many injuries ago, I would rehab the problem and pick up right where I left off. My life plan once involved getting into rehabilitation but after many years of physio for chronic issues and a brief stint working in rehab, I changed my mind. Or rehab changed my mind for me.

Too much emphasis is placed on the injury, and yes you read that right. The underlying issue of a knee pain is rarely a knee problem, but instead an issue with the hip, IT band, or maybe misalignment. Or maybe the ankle. Or could be the back and something overcompensates and the pain pops up in the knee. Too many aspects of rehab have blinders on. So if you have chronic pain, there is hope for you: try something else. If you haven’t looked further than the source of pain, then you haven’t even started.

Although my most recent injuries to rehab were not my fault (for once), I am starting from square one and overhauling this mess I’ve got going on. During my last workout another trainer asked me what I was working on and without hesitation or smile I said “my back- but just the right side”. He laughed and walked away probably to go flex at his reflection. I actually meant what I said though.

As a long time model for scoliosis, my back never looked like an anatomy textbook. It looked like I got hit by an SUV. Then I did get hit by an SUV. Flexing the muscles in my back are great as a party trick or maybe for a booth in a traveling circus but for promoting myself as a personal trainer not so much. (I would post a photo but I rated this blog as PG). This imbalance feeds into all my other problems so I will focus here and build on that. Upgrade in progress.

If something isn’t working then stop and try something else. There is nothing wrong with learning through trial and error particularly with our bodies. You just need to trust your body will tell you what it likes and doesn’t like and you need to listen and respond. Building a strong base for your fitness is most important (literally and figuratively) and this will reduce injuries and keep you hard at work in the gym.

So tomorrow is another (right side) back day. A big shout out to all my asymmetrical friends putting in a workout tomorrow too!


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Which Way is Up

Right before my surgery, a co-worker shared with me a great piece of wisdom. She told me to look at this situation as a good thing because I wasn’t losing ground but simply moving sideways. Moving sideways can be the best direction to go because you are still moving but you find a new endpoint so you gain a new perspective. I was awestruck at her casual brilliance as she then continued on with our conversation.

This is a fantastic way to illustrate that so much in life is simply a matter of perspective.

Regressing can be a way of moving forward as well. In the gym today my joints seemed to want a rest day much more than my brain did so I modified everything, reduced weight and reps, and ended up leaving about half an hour early.


If I had fought my way through my planned workout, I know that I would have set myself back with irritation, inflammation, or injury. Sure I didn’t leave the gym today feeling like I accomplished a lot because my skin wasn’t as tomato red as normal but I know that I have a much better chance of being successful in my next scheduled workout and getting back on track faster. Leaving with the sense I didn’t work out hard meant that I listened to my body and didn’t aggravate any pending issues. Our bodies are extremely intelligent because they tell us exactly what they need; we just have to listen.

So as long as you are moving, then you are progressing. Sometimes it is sideways and sometimes it is backwards but that is how we truly create ourselves. If we keep pushing forward with our heads down, we can miss the forks in the road. And if we don’t make decisions on which direction to go then is there any value to the direction we are going?


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