by Dr. Misty Gargan DC
A car accident or unexpected bout of back pain can really derail you from your everyday life. Some injuries can heal frustratingly slow, consuming your daily thoughts and affecting everything you do.
I know what that feels like. I’ve been hit multiple times by distracted, tired, and unaware drivers. Those experiences, as frustrating as they were, gave me some of the best lessons of my career. Recently, I was able to share one of those lessons with a patient.
Taking The First Step
Often more than we realize, the little steps we take can leverage us into bigger & better things. After my last two collisions (within 3 months of each other) I was so inflamed and deconditioned that when I began to exercise again, all I could do was march in place for 5 minutes! It was unbelievably frustrating for me. Before the collision, I was running, cycling, and doing step aerobics 5-6 times a week! 5 minutes of marching felt like baby steps to me, and I wondered if it was even worth the trouble.
Stepping It UP
I had to trust that those baby steps were helping me heal, and after a while I was able to add to them, turning five minutes a day into 5 mins twice a day, then 10 mins, then 12 mins, then 15 mins, and so on…. I stepped it up slowly but surely as I gained resilience, strength, and stamina. Eventually I was running, leaping, rock climbing, and doing step aerobics again! But I had to start with those tiny first steps, and I had to learn how to appreciate how each little step was leveraging me closer to bigger & better adventures!
Since those auto injuries, I’ve had to recover from other physical and emotional traumas – life is always giving us excuses to get out of our healthy habits! – but thanks to the lessons I’ve learned from my car accidents, I know how to get back on track. I take one little step after another towards my goal, and celebrate every successful step along the way, no matter how small!
For all of you out there that are suffering and feeling frustrated with where you’re at, I encourage you to take a step. Even if it’s just a tiny one, you’ll still be one step closer to recovery.