Updated: Jun 4
I vividly recall sitting on my front steps on a midsummer day, watching the neighbors walk, run, and stroll their children past our house. I, too, had taken a brief walk, and was now engaged in what had become a necessary post-walk ritual of rubbing and soothing my aching left leg. And stretching my sore lower left back. And, and....the parts of me that ached were growing at a depressingly fast rate.
Just in my early forties and fresh from a highly active anniversary trip of hiking and touring with my husband, I felt something new. I felt an overwhelming and heavy weight through my whole self. This old knee injury was beginning to drag me into a different mindset---one of limitations and opting out of the things I loved to do. I realized that I had started to slowly dismiss certain ideas, dreams, and possibilities for travel, for exercise, for fun and learning because I knew no other way out of my debilitating condition.
Then, as I let those thoughts pass, a series of questions entered my mind, and I sat with them for a long time, with no answers in plain site:
*Is this all there is? Physical therapy, medication, and a life of pain?
*Is there no alternative to knee replacement?
*What will my life be like after knee replacement? *Am I really doomed to a life of "no" at this point, with so much time left?
And then I wondered, "Is there something else out there, another way to help my situation?"
That was ten years ago. Now, many surprising turns later, I know the answer and I have brought the "something" to my community.
To be clear, I DID have knee replacement at age 47. That might sound extreme because that is a young age for such a drastic move. But it was also extreme to continue playing college basketball and maintaining my casual running regimen in my younger days even though I was doing it all with a torn ACL. My adherence to "no pain, no gain" for most of my life until that point proved to be a harmful illusion.
With my Feldenkrais training and a lot of support from multiple experienced practitioners, I not only recovered from my knee replacement but I am better in every dimension of myself. Though it was a physical limitation that brought me to the method, it is the deeper psychological transformation that continues to feed my well-being, with much, much more growth ahead.
Feldenkrais helped me cultivate a way of living that is more process-oriented (learning) than achievement-oriented. It helped me learn a new way to be in relationship with my body, and with my whole self in turn. So now, when I feel twinges of discomfort, my response is different than it was in the past. I know myself better, and I know how to work through a healing process.
It helped that the surgery took place in the first year of my 4 year training program to become a certified Feldenkrais Method® practitioner. That deep immersion helped me make the most of the surgery.
Now, how I found out about the method in the first place, bringing me from that point on my front step to the current moment.....that is a completely different story, BUT it had to do with asking the question in the first place.
So, I asked a question. The answer came. Do you have a question?
By the way, I am including photos of some recent hiking adventures:Yosemite National Park, May 2018, and Sedona, Az in November 2019.