How did I get here? 55 years old, retired from job of 30 years, sold my side landscaping business last year, happily married to my wonderful wife for 17 years and father to three wonderful children, ages 20, 14 and 8. It sounds like a fairytale life, right? Well, it is. However, there have just been many bumps along the way. What we have come through, sounds like many of the stories I have read on this blog. Most of my challenges started back in 2006 when my youngest son was born with health issues and went through 5 surgeries before his 1st birthday. Things were compounded by my retirement from my day job of 30 years as well as a yearlong separation from my wife in 2009. Now, throw on top of that a mounting deterioration in my health that caused me to sell my landscaping business of 15 years and you have a recipe for depression. As of now, I have had a total of 10 surgeries. This includes, both hips resurfaced, 1 shoulder replaced and a 2 spinal fusions.
While dealing with all of the challenges, pain was taking its toll on me. It also took a toll on my friends and family. I wasn’t sleeping and I hurt constantly from Fibromyalgia. I became crabby and difficult to be around. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was depressed. Depression and pain kept me in bed many days unable to move. I tried every treatment available. Diets seemed hard to do and the pain medications provided by my doctor often did more harm than good. Everyone has to deal with pain and stress, but my usual coping mechanisms were no longer available to me or so I thought. I always dealt with stress through physical activity. Whether it was exercising, lifting weights, or just cutting the grass, those options were no longer available to me. I was left wondering how I was going to feel better, get out of depression and back in enough shape to be a good dad.
I decided to step outside my box and try yoga. My wife had suggested it many times, but I was not ready to hear her or to try it (can you tell she wrote this line?). It finally struck me that gentle stretching through yoga, could be the solution to a lot of the things that were affecting my life. Like many others attending their first class, the OM at the beginning, made me think this is definitely outside of my box. By the end of the class, a calm that had been missing for a long time resided in me. It was a challenge, mentally and physically. I decided to try out a number of studios, and Be Yoga was the third and final studio. Everyone just seemed genuine and caring and boy was I right in my choice.
At this time, I am trying to fight against a 3 way fusion in my lower back. My physical therapist and Be Yoga are going to eliminate that need. Now instead of lying in bed with pillows between my legs trying to get comfortable, I get out my yoga mat and stretch. I know I will have more troubles in the future, but I’ve found the answer through yoga and meditation.
Thanks to everyone that ever taught or participated in a class with me. I want to especially thank Kellie, Ashley, Allison, Laura, Wendy and Christine for teaching me everything I know. Yoga has given me a part of my life back that many of us take for granted, so I am being nice to my body from now on. I’m sure yoga will be in my life forever. It’s taught me to live each moment and be calmer, happier and always looking for the positives. I thank you, and my family thanks you, for being a huge part of my quest to get to be the best person I can be. Namaste