Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here's What Helped Me

I can't get the images from my mind: Anna on the floor in a cobra pose, Joseph hanging from the bar, arms locked out, knees together, slowly raising up and down.

--Here's what helped me, Amy.
--This is what the therapist had me do.

I work in a service field. When I clock in for my shift, I agree to stand at the service of others, whether by instructing them on exercise form or by keeping clean the equipment they'll use. This is where my deep joy in my work derives: I use what I know to make you feel better.

When I hurt my elbow, I'd talk about it here and there to members at the gym. People would check in with me, ask how I was feeling, offer earnest sympathy. Yet few of these folks suffered the same injury, so conversations often ended at sorry.

But when I walked around on a shift last week with an involuntary grimace on my face, and I told anyone who asked that I threw out my lower back, the help came. Low back pain is a common complaint, and what I found was a community ready to serve me.

--Here's what helped me, Amy.
--This is what the therapist had me do.

Phone calls. Mindy took time from her three small children home on President's Day to talk me through my problems. Anna on the floor. Joseph demonstrating the one successful technique he discovered after trying everything else.

Gifts, all. It's said that receiving can be more difficult than giving, but I am nothing less than grateful. Not entirely for the advice--some worked, some didn't--but for the care and concern. For the ways that those I serve choose to serve me.



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