When the Universe has a message, if you’re not listening, it can bring you to your knees. In my case, just one knee. Swiftly and powerfully. Here’s my tale:
As a real estate development executive in the early 2000s I would often lead housing development tours for out of town investors. Prepping for one such tour on a rainy December day, I hustled to preview a large master planned community. After a quick tour I raced back to my car, when BAM, I slipped in oil in the community drive, flew up, and landed on my left knee. Shattering my kneecap. That hurt.
Paramedics arrived. Got a dose of morphine and the fun of riding in an ambulance. After surgery and a few days in the hospital, I declined the “non-addictive” pain meds. I decided to tough it out. I didn’t sleep much. That med was Oxycodone. I am ever grateful I declined.
I spent weeks on my sofa, in a “knee moving machine.” Reading. Watching documentaries. Confirming the life that I had was not what I wanted.
A documentary I watched at 3 am, Food, Inc., looked at the true cost of putting price and convenience ahead of nutritional and environmental concerns. First reaction? I’ll never eat again. By lunch I knew that wasn’t going to work out.
I read the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, the story of how she and her family gave up University professor positions to move to a small farm and live off of what they could grow or source within 50 miles of their home for a year. Genius.
I also found out that I had osteopenia. How was that possible? I was in the prime of life!
I started a vision board for a small house, a stream and a garden. All my husband said was “What took you so long?” A rural listing popped up for a rundown house with giant pecan trees, adjacent to a river. We bought it and changed our lives.
After months of PT and a second surgery, I was better, but not great. I was working to fix my gut microbiome and deal with this osteopenia thing without pharma drugs.
In the ensuing 10 years I trained at four different herbal medicine schools and became an American Herbalist Guild Registered Herbalist. I became a county Master Gardener. I ran Verde Gardener, a small herbal medicine apothecary.
I also went to Duke Integrative Medicine and met Genevieve Rockett. We became National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches and then Registered Yoga Teachers. We also found and trained with Dr. Loren Fishman’s to learn his brilliant and well-studied Yoga v. Osteoporosis program.
Genevieve and I joined forces and iPIVOT-now was born. Our mission is to help others take charge of their wellness through natural solutions and to support healthy bone mineral density. To be more. Do more. And live the life that you want.
Here I am…how I got here is a confluence of many stories, choices and paths. The 3 generations of females in my family helped me discover my passion for bone health. One might say my passion serves as healing for my mom, self-serving for me, and preventative for my daughter.
I believe the foundation of my life is health. My next level is relationships. Without your health, toss it all to the wind. Think about it, have you ever hurt your back? #&*! Right? You’re miserable. Sitting, standing, lying down…nothing is comfortable…and you are tired, grumpy, and cranky, and it’s difficult to focus and enjoy the other aspects of your life…health is my secret sauce.
That is why taking charge of my own health and well-being is where I pour a large amount of my precious limited resources (time and energy).
So when faced with the possibility of poor bone density, something that might rock my health foundation, and impede my future active lifestyle (side note: one of my personal goals is to run a 10K at age 85 so I can place in my age division…figure pretty good strategy as I am not a fast runner but if the pool is only 2 others….just saying….odds are pretty good.)
Anyways, back to bone density…. I wanted to jump up, take action now, and nip it in the bud. The fantastic news is Susan and I researched and discovered the 12 poses in 12 minutes. I felt so fortunate and grateful. There are so many diseases out there that you have minimal control over. But for osteoporosis, I can do something to make a difference, something that has been clinically proven, and its low cost, low risk.
Given my Physical Therapy background, I turned my yoga practice into becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher and then studied under Dr. Loren Fishman, MD to become Yoga vs. Osteoporosis certified.
I want to spread the word, to share this knowledge with everyone. I want to see my mother improve her bone mineral density in her hip and spine and shake the Osteoporosis diagnosis and her dramatic risk for fractures. I want my daughter to embrace her opportunity to build up her bone density reserves before turning 30 by learning the poses and counteract her higher risk of Osteoporosis due to Celiac’s disease (pre-diagnosis her body hasn’t absorbed enough Calcium and Vitamin D for an extensive amount of time)
I want to reach everyone, to blast away the obstacles. People that don’t know where or how to start. People who don’t “do yoga”. People that are new to yoga. I want to meet people exactly where they are.
Here I am a Registered Yoga Teacher, and to be honest, I can’t do a lot of the advanced poses. In yoga classes, the “traditional” or advanced poses were always taught, with a cue that if you needed to modify, do so. I thought of how many people get frustrated and never returned.
We decided to focus on teaching the “beginner” poses. Of course, beginner doesn’t mean easy. I teach the 12 poses, probably not like a typical yoga teacher, a lot of my PT background comes through, I challenge people, and set them up for success!