Begin Again: Finding Renewal in Deterioration

May 24, 2016

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By Shannon Stoby, Physiotherapist

Sometimes deterioration seems inevitable. We get older. Things change. It seems that we just can’t do the things we used to do. Sometimes this process can be accelerated by illness or injury and we mourn the loss of who we used to be.

Often we miss our younger selves because of our physical bodies. We could move and bend in all kinds of ways; we felt good. The skin was firmer, there was no cellulite—those were the days.

But, what else did we do when we were young?

We played. We explored. We learned. We dreamed. We used our imaginations. We believed in ourselves. We were less afraid. It seemed there were so many rules, yet more freedom, too. Our hearts and minds were open to new possibilities. Imagine that curiosity, confidence, and fearlessness now—now that you make the rules.

‘Getting older’ is not a diagnosis—for anything. Nor is any diagnosis a sentence to a completely predictable outcome. We have this notion that after a certain age or with a certain label, it is all downhill; that we just can’t expect any better. I think that we always need to accept where we are in life; but, acceptance is not the same as settling or resigning yourself. Acceptance is finding peace and, eventually, embracing a new circumstance—that’s when growth and renewal can begin.

At any age, injured or not, you need to listen to your body. Just because it no longer wants to do the things you used to do, does not necessarily mean that it is less capable—it may just mean that it is tired of being pushed in the same direction in the same way. At some point you outgrow your old patterns, physical and otherwise, and you need to look at what you are doing. At some point, just because that is the way you’ve always done it is not a good enough reason to continue on that path. You need a new way.

Change is inevitable and can sometimes seem devastating. Mourn your losses as you need to; be kind to yourself in the process. But know that you can find renewal in deterioration. Try new things. Learn new skills. Discover hidden talents. Explore new passions. Remember old, forgotten ones. And never assume that you’ve already been as good as you’re going to get. You have the capacity to heal if you have the willingness to grow.

By: Shannon Stoby, PT, MScPT

Shannon is a Physical Therapist with an interest in helping her patients achieve holistic healing from whatever ails them and achieve optimum functioning in pursuing their passions.

Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.

Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.

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