Monday, February 15, 2010

Balancing Act

Several years ago, a friend of mine gave me a necklace with a bead that said “balance.” It was her necklace, made by mutual friend, and in her kindness, my friend passed it on to me because at the time, she thought I needed it more than she did.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. Five months ago, I overturned my ankle in a clumsy move I had no desire to publicize – it was bad enough that it took place in a restaurant where a group of my colleagues was having lunch. I put off going to the doctor, certain that I just needed to give it time to heal, reluctant to admit that I'd had difficulty doing something as basic as walking on a wet floor.

Three months later, when I finally did seek treatment, the orthopaedist prescribed physical therapy. It seems that in compensating for the injury, I'd lost flexibility in the surrounding muscles. I was pleased to have an alternative to anti-inflammatories, but, not being the most physically adept person you'll ever meet, I had reservations about going to physical therapy. I mean, wasn't PT for athletes, or people recuperating from surgeries or serious injuries?

As it turns out, one of the goals of PT was improving my balance - balance I hadn't even realized I'd lost. For as long as I can remember, I've thought about emotional balance, balancing my time, balancing a budget. Never once in my adult life had I thought about physical balance. It was just something I took for granted. At least until I walked across that wet floor.

Balance is a key factor in our lives in so many ways. I'm constantly struggling to balance time and energy, and now, thanks to a fleeting moment of imbalance, I'm working on restoring my physical balance as well. Maybe getting thrown off-balance every once in a while isn't such a bad thing.

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