I received the BEST ADVICE from a serendipitous interaction with a complete stranger. I didn’t think that their advice would have such a HUGE IMPACT on my life. It’s funny how things can work out like that. Now keep in mind, this advice did not change my life immediately, but rather sent me down a specific path that ultimate meant everything.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
For me, the best advice (so far) was the suggestion to learn how to dance the tango. Argentine Tango, to be precise. Advice given by Claudyne Wilder of Wilder Presentations and Torchmetrics (wow). She expressed to me that if I learned to dance the tango, I would learn how to properly stand and move about the room while public speaking, teaching, or presenting information. The walk of the tango creates body language that is confident and purposeful. She complimented me and said I have a lot of potential, and if I learn this, I will go far!
Seems like pretty basic advice, but again life is funny. I would have never met Claudyne Wilder if it weren’t for the fact that I was working for a friend of a friend of a friend (yeah, three times removed), to help them out last minute with their booth at the Gem and Mineral Show here in Tucson, AZ. This was in February 2019.
At that time in my life I had already been on a journey of weight loss and healthy habits (like going veganish). I was down 30/40 pounds and this new gig at the Gem Show proved to be an excellent workout. Since I had been used to sitting at my desk working on websites, digital marketing strategy, graphic design, etc…. this new gig had me standing for 8+ hours a day for 21 days straight (or almost, I didn’t make it the whole time lol). I also started doing intermittent fasting as a way to cleanse, reduce calories, and get to the autophagy phase (discovered by Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine in 2016) I had recently learned about. While standing at this gig I was trying to have good posture and did my best to stay hydrated throughout the day. So, when I got this advice it seemed very aligned with my current goals.
As soon as I was able to, I found a local tango dance class. They even offer the first group lesson FREE! “Yes! That’s awesome!” I thought! Unfortunately, the specified time for the free class never lined up with my availability AND it was a solid 30-minute drive away.
The next time I had free time (jump to end of April beginning of May), I pulled up some Beginner Basics for Tango Dancing on YouTube. The first video was specifically on how to do the basic walk and how to hold your spine, hips, and legs. I quickly found that I literally could not hold my body in that way. My back, my hips, and my injured leg just couldn’t do it. It just didn’t work. The more I tried, the more excruciating it got. Whoa! I did not expect that!
I have had chronic pain my entire life, but I’ve done my best to work through it and not let it hold me back. So I have plenty of experience utilizing the “grin and bear it” method. Things got much worse when I injured my leg and knee in 2015. But during that time, I felt like I had to put my job at a start-up tech company first, before my personal health. And then in 2016, I co-founded my own business so I really didn’t have time or energy to put toward my body. Big mistake, but full speed ahead!
Now here we are in 2019 and boy do I have some work to do! I started going to the chiropractor first. I thought the main issue was that I was just out of alignment, quick fix right? WRONG! My first session with my chiropractor released a lot of blocked and built up energy. Just taking the steps to address that pain and bring it to the forefront was an emotional mountain to climb. I cried so hard in that first session. My chiropractor was sweet and understanding. He said, “Let’s get you aligned and you’ll have much better control of your energy and emotions.” After several sessions he had a good understanding of me and my body. He was able to make meaningful suggestions and even discovered a few underlying issues.
I learned that I have joint hyper-mobility syndrome. It explains a lot! It turns out that a lot of people with anxiety have hyper mobile joints. It makes sense when you think about it because it’s a condition where the body and muscles can’t relax because the joints and the muscles around the joints will move too far and painfully over extend. It makes sense that people who can’t relax their body, and/or literally have to hold themselves together at all times, would also feel that way emotionally. It’s weird that this isn’t talked about more. Your physical state can inform and influence your mental and emotional state!!!
The solution for painful hyper-mobile joints is to build very specific muscle mass so that there is a foundation of muscle around these joints to help hold them and keep them in place, even when relaxed at rest. With my sedentary lifestyle (I work on a computer all day!), and with altering my posture to compensate for my injured leg, I created quite a problem and lots of atrophied muscles. So, my chiropractor suggested that I get a professional personal trainer to help with that.
I found a passionate personal trainer, Jade B at The Gym of Tucson, that could help me safely build muscle mass. Again, my first session I cried like a baby. Bringing that pain forward to talk about it and address it was opening the door to years and years of pain that had not been fully dealt with. Thankfully by the 2nd or 3rd meeting, I had worked through those blockages so the tears finally stopped. Just like the chiropractor, my trainer showed compassion and understanding, despite my emotional distress. It was, and is, extremely painful and slow going, but I was able to push through thanks to my positive and passionate trainer. When you are surround by support, you cannot fail!
This original advice to learn how to dance Argentine Tango pushed me to start my summer journey toward alignment and balance in all areas of my life. I became, and am still becoming, more aligned with my values, my goals, and my purpose. With this alignment I have been speaking my truth, sharing my knowledge, and anything that isn’t in alignment really doesn’t feel right. If you have hung out with me or worked with me this summer you may have experienced me “speaking my truth”. I just couldn’t help it. I can’t be silent anymore. I cannot be anything but me! I’m always working to be the best I can be, by learning and growing constantly. I have made leaps and bounds compared to where I started at the beginning of the summer. I went back to that tango video recently and was able to do more than before. Still difficult and I have balance issues, BUT it’s not impossible and excruciating like it was that first try.
Who knew that Argentine Tango could change my life so drastically, and I haven’t even started dancing yet… This is just the beginning!
What’s the best advice you have ever gotten?
Share your experiences and comment below! Thank you so much for reading!!! 🙂