Ironically, the date was was Friday the 13th of October when I crashed my car on the way to work at 7am. The last clear memory I have is driving past PNC Arts Center and then my mind gets cloudy. I remember looking up to see the guardrail in front of me. Within seconds I was projected forward into the rail. The amount of time in took for my car to flip twice on its side and back upright was very fast. After a few seconds of jostling around and feeling the air bags deploy it was over.
I believe I was protected on that day, somehow. The witnesses that stopped happened to be two nurses and a doctor. The irony of such luck on the unlucky day of Friday the 13th is spooky in my opinion! The doctor was able to check my neck and spine, which thankfully were in working condition. I walked away (well rode away in an ambulance) with a broken upper arm. It hurt like crazy! Eleven screws and one rod later, here I am. No teaching for one month!
The reason why I wrote this post is because I wanted to prove that my consistent exercise regimen of Pilates was and is a huge component of my recovery time. You might be thinking that any active person has the likelihood of healing faster vs. someone who spends most of their time on the couch. And yes, I am not denying that being active in general helps but Pilates has given me the awareness and control that no other exercise has taught me. If you continue to read you’ll see exactly how.
Doctors based my recovery time on my good physical condition and age. Being 26 years old and having young bones helped, but more importantly, Pilates is keeping them this way.
“If, at the age of 30, you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60, you are supple and strong, then you are young.” -Joseph Pilates
I have learned from Pilates to control the muscles in my body. The awareness of these muscles for instance, has given me the ability to FIRST THINK! Here’s some examples:
Drawing my stomach muscles in before standing helps because pushing off something to stand is not an easy task with a broken arm!
Rolling my left shoulder down and engaging my upper back muscles helps me pick things up with my left hand. Any load placed on my hand causes pain in my arm, which is why this helps me.
Lying around has also triggered some lower back and neck pain. In order to relieve this, I have used Pilates mat exercises to help while completely relaxing my broken arm to avoid stress on that area. Talk about control!!
If you have ever been prescribed “nothing but rest”, you may relate to the frustration of not moving. Lets face it, life gets in the way and lying around all day sometimes is just not an option. Dishes need to be done… kids need attention… whatever it may be. Life forces us to move regardless of doctors orders. Avoiding further injury and being safely active requires exactly what Pilates teaches us – MINDFUL MOVEMENT!
It is because of the consistency in my practice of this method that my body is able to do these things sometimes without thinking. It has become a habit of mine to move mindfully. And I am so happy it has! It takes time and again, CONSISTENCY.
It is now November, meaning one month has past, and my range of motion has increased quite quickly. (making progress!)