Yesterday, while I was doing Pilates, I realized something. I’ve spent the last fifteen months curled up. My body has literally taken on the fetal position as my go-to state of physical being. It probably started with how much I slept during chemo and then got worse when I consciously curled in to protect my chest after surgery.
As a result, my shoulders are hunched, my hip flexors and quads are tight as violin strings, and my calves require encouragement for me to walk in the morning.
But, to recover is more than just getting into a stretch and staying there. Yesterday, during some ridiculous Pilates contortion, I felt my chest muscles above my sternum start to stretch out, and I panicked and closed back down. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH my sternum is going to break apart and the muscles will snap and my heart will fall out, still beating, onto this lovely pre-fire warehouse floor AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
My trainer slowly pulled my shoulders back and re-engaged the stretch.
“You’re fine, you just need to let your body open back up.”
Deep breath. I’m fine. Deep breath.