The Gratitude that Lives Beneath Pain

During my nine-months of foot pain due to a ruptured fascia, I yearned to be back in dance class. I feared that life as I knew it could be over. Now that the pain has decreased to being without a cane, I am grateful to just walk to the grocery store.

But here’s the thing, and I’m unexpectedly comforted by saying it…
Life as I knew it is over!

Life is now a series of deliberate steps that consider what speed, aggression, and distance is best for me. Rather than single-mindedly sacrificing all else for my goals, angered by anything in my way, my COMFORT has become as important as my AMBITION.

You see, I couldn’t be angry at my foot. It granted me a dance career into my 50’s?!

Many people have said through the years, “dancers are masochists.” And in a way, it’s true. Without pain we don’t know if we’re working correctly. Being sore in the gluts and inner thighs means it was a well executed ballet class. Being sore in the quads and hip flexors means it was not.

Pain was a part of life.

But pain that keeps you from living your life asks you to DIG rather than QUEST. The questions change. Rather than, how could I execute movement better moving forward; it becomes, how have my life choices brought me to this juncture?

Has being tough sacrificed my foot, my future, my wellness and strength?

A client recently inquired about my dance career. As I gave the chronology of my career, I realized that my choices to go from one dance form to another was due to my feet. I didn’t want to wear point shoes anymore, jump anymore, wear heels anymore…

My experience of these choices, at the time, was simply wanting something different. I adapted again and again to experience all that the dance world had to offer.

Now I’m considered—at 61-years of age—to be in the Autumn of my life. The time where we reap the benefits of our younger years’ hard-labor. But what does that look like?

This 9-month reflection has delivered a renewed vision of myself in the world. While my body will always inform what I do, I need not physically do it all. The mind-body relationship, I’ve grown expert in, has informed my dancing and aided my healing.

These nine-months has birthed an understanding that my next chapter is to educate practitioners in mind-body alignment: fitness trainers, physical therapists, psychotherapists, nurses and the like. Those who know body mechanics already and are interested in the emotional healing added by understanding the mind-body connection.

My toughness surely contributed to my foot’s present condition. But even that, now gives way to gratitude. My future feels on track; and, my wellness and strength are enthused by this interruption. It’s been a reality check directing me toward the next step of my life’s work.

Adapting my focus through my dance career gave my career longevity. Considering each step I now take will give my life longevity. We learn to be more deliberate and present as we mature so we can recreate our place in the world as we age.

Now my choices will give BodyLogos longevity. So that, my work lives longer than me, through the commitment and promise of other practitioners. This is my promise.

1 reply
  1. Cyd McDowell
    Cyd McDowell says:

    Tammy! I finally found a quiet moment to read this wonderful entry. Wow. What you wrote is so honest and clearly born of much self reflection and taking stock and making new choices. It is completely inspiring. I am so sorry your foot injury has caused you so much pain, you don’t deserve that. BUT my hope is that you can move through life pain free, I know you will. I am so proud to know you. Thank you for your inspiring words. I love you!


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