Sometimes, It’s About the Littlest Things

Hi all,

I’m running a little late with posting, this week. That’s what happens when school is closed for spring break. I start cleaning and lose sight of almost everything else. (This coming from the girl who always gave her mother grief for using vacation time to clean. Help! Does this mean I’m becoming my mother???)

Here’s the latest I tried from Jessica Smith TV. What I’m liking about her routines—and the ballet barre workout I referred to in my last post—is feeling supercharged when I’m done, with a willingness to keep going. The energy seems to have translated to the tennis court, too! I ran down so many shots and didn’t feel tired at all after 90 minutes out there—double what I could do last fall.  (Oh, the hours I spent on the courts in my mid-late 20s. Still feeling that kind of joy when I’m swinging a racquet.)

A couple of days ago, online friend and fellow blogger Carrie Rubin brought up an interesting question about twinges of regret about life choices we might have made. Read her post here. (Psst! Carrie’s posts are always worth the read.)

Anyway, she got me thinking. Of course, my thoughts meandered in other directions—and I didn’t want to be a copy-cat. I landed on seemingly little things that wind up being life-changing.

Now, I’m not talking insanely dramatic life situations. For me, a YouTube video and a piece of tape wound up impacting the day-to-day.

This connects to the fitness videos I mentioned these past two posts. Around this time last year, I decided to give zumba a whirl. I’d taken a class; wasn’t thrilled with the instructor. Being someone who has a hard time following steps, I figured I could start and pause a video as needed and work at my own pace.

Long story short, I felt something not move correctly in my left hip. No pain. At least not until a month or so later, when I couldn’t tell which came first, the pain in the hip or that in the knee. I was also an avid user of rocker-bottom sneakers (i.e., Shape-Ups)—they never, ever bothered me prior. (I’ve given them up but still miss them. It’s okay.)

By June last year, I had enough of a problem to interfere with my lifestyle. That included walking. (I was afraid to attempt tennis.) Sitting certain ways and getting up off the floor after working with my school kids had become a major issue. I broke down and went to see an orthopedist. He offered a knee brace, ibuprofen and physical therapy.

Immediately called a former co-worker. She’s not only the most amazing physical therapist I know, she’s become my “sister-from-another-mother.” She told me the brace  would align my patella (a.k.a kneecap) exactly the way athletic taping would, minus the bulk. Went to her house that same night. Came home taped and taught how to do it myself. She also showed me a few key exercises, but I’d be lying if I told you those were the magic.

A piece of athletic tape applied once or twice a week since then has altered my day-to-day for the best. Within a week, most of the pain subsided. (I’d say I was 95% improved, and with minimal medicine too.) I even took my chances on the tennis court right around then, and came back happier than I’d been in months. The barre workout appears to have handled the rest of the discomfort. My hip is feeling 99% improved since TWO days after starting that. Go figure.

So, reader-friends, I turn over the blog-mike to you. What seemingly little choice or change did you make that significantly impacted your day-to-day, or your life on the bigger scale, if that’s appropriate?

Best wishes for a Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all those who celebrate!

And special thanks to Carrie for inspiring me this week.  🙂















13 thoughts on “Sometimes, It’s About the Littlest Things

  1. Thanks so much for the mention! I appreciate that. Glad you’ve seen such great results from your knee wrapping. 🙂

    For me, the first thing that comes to mind is Scrivener, the writing software program. After taking a course to really learn it, I can’t imagine going back to Word to outline, plan, and write my story. There are so many convenient tools (split screen, keywords, index cards). Makes it much easier to navigate a novel-in-progress.

    Have a great day!


    1. I’ve heard of Scrivener–name me a writer who hasn’t–and have considered it. Was your course online or a live class?


  2. If we’re going to talk physical life changes, here goes. About 11 years ago I squatted down to get hair out of the tub drain and couldn’t stand up. I had a pain on the right side of my lower back I was ready to equate with labor and I hadn’t done anything! I went to two orthopedists and physical therapy. Nothing helped. After a year of being in pain I found my kinesiologist. He knew exactly what my pain was. A muscle spasm! He fixed it when no one else could. Around the same time I started doing yoga. I’ve never looked back. Yoga can fix any ailment in my opinion. I saw an article about a 93 year-old yoga teacher in Yoga Journal magazine. I want to be her!


    1. When I worked in the hospital setting, I had more access to electrical stimulation units. Those were AWESOME at fatiguing muscle spasms. Glad you are better.

      I don’t do yoga formally, but I know folks swear by it. I know some principles are built into the barre workouts, as are Pilates. Everyone has something that works for him/her. Glad you found yours!


  3. Yay! My swear-by rule is one you already follow: keep active no matter what. If you can’t run, walk. If Zumba is too dancey, try barre, or weights, or cycling. I’m a yoga fan of many years, (supplemented with weights and aerobics once or twice a week). Started with chronic hip and shoulder pain, which now are no problem. My goal: handstand in the middle of the room, and standing up from back bends before 60. Might not make the back bend part, but who cares? So, yoga was a small experiment that turned into a a 16 year (so far) play date.

    Glad your hip and knee pain are better, and that you found a good therapist to help. Things do break down from time to time, and it’s good to have someone to turn to that you trust.


    1. Thanks for stopping in, and for your comment. I used to get into and get up from a backbend, uh…several moons ago. Now you’ve got me thinking about trying, and I’m sure you’ll achieve your goal. I doubt I’ll ever have enough core strength for a handstand. 😉

      Yep, I do what I can, when I can. Since I tend to have the attention span of a gnat at times, I do best multi-tasking my exercises (i.e., weights, spot exercises and/or ball work while watching DWTS, etc). I enjoy how good I feel.

      Funny, you mentioned a 16-year yoga “experiment”. I’ve been the most consistent with exercise and weight mgt for 5+ years now, and it all started b/c I just couldn’t sit in front of the TV to catch the Australian Open (Tennis again, what can I say?)

      And, since this photo connects both tennis and backbends, check it out. Just scroll down the page a bit.



      1. Once upon a much younger time I could get into one from an upright pose. Afraid to paralyze myself now. I’ll leave the acrobatics to Serena and confine mine to my workouts, dancing and the tennis courts. 😉


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