Since the age of twelve, my life has revolved around skateboarding. My passion for the act of riding on a piece of wood has shaped my perspective of the world. The texture of the ground, subtle architectural decisions, and mild changes in weather are all huge details that I now notice as I enter a new location. Skateboarding has also physically shaped my body. However, it has not always been in a positive way. Though my calves are as defined as a well-tuned athlete’s, they are uneven. In fact, I am pretty uneven throughout my entire musculature. It took me over a decade to realize I didn’t just need balance on my board. I needed balance within my body.
In 2010, I had an MRI taken of my spine after unexpected back pain had taken me out of commission for six months. The prognosis: two bulging disks in my lower spine. Not only did this mean that skating was on hiatus, but it was also hurting my career. I was a freelance videographer picking up scattered jobs that involved long hours on my feet, a lot of heavy lifting, countless hours travelling, and endless time sitting at a computer. I had to find a way to recover.
I went to an orthopedic surgeon first. He said I would be fine and that I could wait it out. He was wrong. I tried physical therapy. That actually caused me more pain. I tried acupuncture, then a chiropractor, then a different physical therapist, then a spine specialist and then finally ended up at another chiropractor named Dr. Steven Schneider. Dr. Schneider practiced a chiropractic method called the Direct Non-Force Technique. He would find imbalances in my back, neck and legs, and gently correct them through stretching and mild force without upsetting the area of distress. He began my healing process and was the one who taught me that everything in one’s body is connected and that working the one problem area is not enough.
Fast-forward four years and you can find me working as the videographer at Balanced Body. A company I had never heard of prior to applying for the position – not because Balanced Body is not worth knowing – but because of my lack of familiarity with the Pilates method.
I began to learn a lot about the human body and movement from filming and editing Balanced Body training and workout videos alone. When I started to take classes on the Reformer and the Bodhi Suspension System, I started to feel like I was building my body straight up. I felt like I was actually building deep muscles symmetrically as opposed to my normal routine of just stretching out each muscle evenly.
Several months later, I feel that my posture has improved and I have a much better awareness of my body. I am interested in possibly taking an Anatomy in Three Dimensions class to better understand the connections in my body. I realize that this human frame is with me for life and as corny as it sounds, I now know that knowledge and mindful movement is going to make a big difference on how well this body moves through each and every day.