FEELING GREAT: Overcoming health challenges bit-by-bit

Mayor's charity Christmas dog walk at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden. Lisa Girdwood with Ginny.
Mayor's charity Christmas dog walk at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden. Lisa Girdwood with Ginny.
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Sometimes when I start to write these columns I’m not always 100 per cent sure of what I’m going to say.

So I figure the best thing to do, is, well, to just start writing.

And usually when I do that, something good pops into my head and words come out in a way that readers will enjoy.

I guess Christmas is, in many ways, a lot like that too.

You know what I mean, right?

Think back to October time.

When Christmas was a “dirty word” beginning to be mentioned and you realise that you’ve got so much to do, and so many people to take care of, that you just don’t know where to begin – so it’s tempting to just not start at all!

But then you take that first tentative step into somewhere like Argos, or the local jewellers.

Even sneak a peak online at Amazon and begin to wonder what special gifts you could buy that could really make someone you love, happy.

And your health, it’s very much the same as both of those examples too.

See, one of the problems that many people face when trying to overcome health challenges such as back or knee pain, is much like my columns, and even Christmas shopping, getting started can be the hardest thing as it can feel so overwhelming and appear such a HUGE task that will never be solved.

And that reminds me of a question I once asked the 64-year-old mother of a friend of mine after she told me about her chronic knee pain:

“What’s the one thing you claim you want to be able to do, but because of your knee pain, you currently can’t?”

Her answer: “To be able to walk my dog three times a day.”

When she told me this, she wasn’t able to walk the dog even once per day. So I pointed out that all she first had to do was focus on doing what ever it took to be able to walk her dog just once per day – and then see what happens after that.

Chances are she’d quickly get to twice per day and either way, would be in a much healthier state that currently.

So the moral of this weeks story is this:

Most people focus on a picture of their health that is almost so wonderful, it’s impossible to achieve – and that stops them from doing anything!

Rather than focusing on a complete end to back pain or knee pain or whatever it is that is holding you back right now, just find a way to make a 10, 20, 30 even 40 or 50 per cent improvement on how you are now.

That might be with better lifestyle habits, changing footwear, trying new exercises, considering physio or just talking to someone who you know who never seems to suffer and asking what’s their secret.

Do that, and like the end of this column, and the delight that will happen on Christmas morning, you might find that your goal of maintaining independence, living more actively or just free from painkillers, will happen soon enough.