6/8/21: Why Do We Take So Many Steps Back So Often

After sharing my own story very publicly, one of the effects has been having ppl reach out, wanting to talk/ask questions abt their own situation, daily. You create a safe space w your vulnerability, & ppl want to step into it.

I cant help but notice trends, as the convos flow, w the fams & individuals who reach out. Early on, the trends were more macro: wow, ppl are talking more abt lived experiences & how they FEEL, than they are relating to any disorder label. That way of thinking/understanding seems to resonate more.

Recently, as we’re getting back to “normalcy” from the last yr+, & ppl are going into the office again & being asked to get rt back into their “usual” routines,” the calls I’m getting – a lot of them are having to do w burnout/fatigue, & an overall “I cant do this rt now.”

More specifically, it’s been amazing (& btw, I can relate, same here), diving deeper, the most common thing I’m hearing is- “my dip it’s not 3 steps forward, 2 back…it’s like ALL the way back- feeling like square 1, & it scares the crap out of me. I know feeling better isn’t liner, but why??”

Since no doc I’ve been to has a good explanation, & since you can’t prove feelings under a microscope, here’s my theory- let’s look at the biology:

When u’re younger & you turn an ankle pretty bad, you stretch ligaments for the first time that make your ankle VERY loose. So, you go to PT, you work on strengthening the ligaments arnd what you’ve hurt, building muscles like your calves, u’re trying to fortify that “injury.”

BUT, once the natural tension in those ligaments has been compromised, ya know that it takes something as small as a trip on a curb, & that ankle ligament weakness can revert right back, swelling/blow right back up.

When stress & trauma impact our BIOLOGY from past events: changes to vagal tone, inflammation in cells, hormonal release imbalance, etc., much like the ankle ligaments, once we’ve jeopardized the initial structure/biology, wouldn’t it make sense when we have dips, there is a NATURAL pattern our bodies slip (even if slightly), back to?

The beauty is, I/we can still play basketball or any sport/activity, at an intense pace, even AFTER a major ankle injury. We can FEEL strong again. But that doesn’t mean, when I/we tweak it, it can’t fall back pretty badly, to that “loose swollen ankle.” And when that happens, we accept it. Of course, it stinks…but we KNOW, my ankles are loose from a prior injury, this is gonna happen…start rehabbing again & while we will always be susceptible, by now we know what treatment & exercises to do, to get a range of motion & function, back to a GOOD place.

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