I Am Not My Brain (and Other Insights)

Three weeks ago today I wrote about going on my first run in a long, long time.
Today I am writing about not being able to run. Again.

When I received the go-ahead from my PT dude to ease back into running, I ran a total of four times. The first two runs were completely pain-free. During the third and fourth runs, my left Achilles tendon was sore. Not excruciatingly sore, but it did hurt. I backed off, but I should’ve backed off sooner.

Shoulda-woulda-coulda.

I’m now on forced rest and cannot even take walks because that’s enough to fire up
the ol’ tendon. Joy in the land. Last week during my PT appointment I was so discouraged
by what felt like a never-ending cycle of injury jumping from one body part to another, that I smacked my kind PT dude in frustration.

Yesterday I had another appointment, and I started with an apology. I then explained that while my tendon was still giving me trouble, I had a better attitude.

What happened? YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN happened.

You Are Not Your Brain cover image

YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN is a book that’s helped me recognize the false messages my brain sends me, messages I’ve internalized over the years until they were hard-wired in my circuitry. The book is helping me rewire my brain so I’m not held hostage by that nasty voice. Basically, YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN is a highly readable how-to on neuroplasticity. (Say it with me, people: neuroplasticity!)

Testimonial: Monday afternoon I lifted weights (an activity I’m easing back into) and as I stood in front of the full-length mirror that helps me maintain good form while lifting, I felt a wave of all sorts of yucky thoughts and feelings around the fact that I’m weak and now must lift much lighter weights and have put on some pounds and don’t look so hot in my workout togs. The thought of starting over to get back to my strong and fit self felt like too much; I felt ugly and weak and worthless and overwhelmed by the entire situation.

And then I reined myself in and talked to my brain. I followed the steps and began the process of rewiring my brain by lifting weights while maintaining eye contact in the mirror. I didn’t look anywhere but in my eyes, because that’s where my true self was evident. Not in my waist or thighs or arms. My eyes. I smiled into my blue peepers and lifted those weights, knowing that by taking action I was drowning out that voice and making it harder for it to reappear. It will come back, it always does, but each time I take positive action while that voice yammers at me, the voice loses power over me.

Tracy taped tendonIn the meanwhile, I’m rocking the RockTape and trying to focus on how far I’ve come. I won’t be running the Bolder Boulder next month and am still royally frustrated with my limitations, but I’m trying hard not to take those personally.

One step at a time.

 

 

8 thoughts on “I Am Not My Brain (and Other Insights)

  1. Yup. One step at a time. Bird by bird. Word by word.

    I recently bought a book by Lawrence Block, WRITE FOR YOUR LIFE: The Home Seminar For Writers, which explains the writing seminars he used to give, including affirmations for writers. I think it’s probably much the same thing as YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN.

    • I have a Lawrence Block book, too. He’s smart and funny and very supportive of the process. YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN is helping me with my health issues, parenting, writing, etc. If only it could bake me a delicious pie…

      Wishing you many one-steps on your journey, Barb.

    • The gap between expectations and desires, I’d say. Or, in the case of much of the bogus brain messages I receive, a distortion of reality. Either way, I’d like to permanently escape the fun-house mirrors and see things as they really are. 🙂

    • I really do recommend the book, Amy. It’s like another little tool for my emotional self-help kit. I figure I can use all the help I can get.

      Limitations of any kind are very frustrating, but I have to say you always seem calm and focused. I aspire to your temperament.

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