As a child in a primary school, I didn't like sport classes because I wasn't naturally good in sport in comparison to the other kids in the class. We always had to compete with one another and I used to feel inadequate in these moments. What I disliked the most was the fact that I knew that I will have to compete with my peers and most likely that I will lose or at least not at the top of the list - this didn’t support the negative experiences that I came with to sport classes.
When time passed by and my menstruation started, 2 physical pressure points emerged -
- I started experiencing lower back pain
- I became Anemic
With having lower back pain and being physically weak due to the anemia, sport class became a complete nightmare because the pain and the physical weakness perpetuated the negative experiences in participating in sport class.
I went to see an orthopedic to give me a waiver from specific parts of sport class - the parts that I wasn't naturally good at in comparison to my peers. I presented the case in such a way where I connected aerobic sport to my lower back pain so between me and myself, I knew that I manipulated the doctor to come to the conclusion that I must be excused from some of the sport activities but I didn't expect the doctor to fall into the trap so absolutely and give me a full pass from sport class. Obviously, I didn't challenge his decision because I was happy with not having to go to sport class at all. Afterwards, I went to see a gynecologist to support me with the real problem - the hormonal imbalance that started with menstruation that contribute to the lower back pain and the Anemia. These two points got sorted with medication back in the days.
It is interesting to noticed how the mind mutates and manipulates points - at some point in time, I actually believed the orthopedic assessment: 'running = lower back pain' to be real to the extent of eventually believing that aerobic sport was the cause of my back problems even though, commonsensically it could not have been the cause because I was no longer doing any sport and yet, the lower back pain manifested every month, before and during the menstruation days up until the point that I got medication for the hormonal imbalance.
I must say that before the medication, the lower back pain was extensive - once a month, every month, I couldn't move, I couldn't walk and the memory imprint of the pain remained inside of me for quite some time though as I mentioned above, I connected the pain with sport so when ever I had to run or be physically active, the memory of the pain came up and I was worried that the pain will manifest again to that degree where I cannot walk/move.
Over the years, my doctor changed my medication and slowly reduced the hormonal dose intake. eventually, I decided to test my body without any hormonal medication and after some tests, the doctor agreed that it won't do any harm to test how the body will cope without medication. The monthly back pain returned but it wasn't to the extreme it was before - it was something that I could manage without having to take medication. It was suggested to me to do Yoga but with my relationship to sport and especially when it comes to a group scenario where I compared myself to others, I experience resistance to Yoga.
Though, I pushed myself to give Yoga a go and I was fortunate to have a Yoga instructor that I could relate to and be supported to move through the 'hard' phase into the 'enjoyable' phase of Yoga. I practiced Yoga 3-4 times a week and after a very short time, I suddenly noticed that my lower back pain cease to exist. My lower back problem was for the most part, due to a weakness in the core muscles of my body and with strengthening these core muscles with Yoga, the pain went away till these day even though I no longer practice Yoga very often. Interestingly enough, my belief that 'Sport = lower back pain' still remained because I didn't see Yoga as sport but as a physical support. To me Sport was only in the context of aerobic exercise.
Will continue in my next blog