In 2009 I developed some serious back problems. Two busted spinal discs meant constant pain. Most slipped discs are solved within 6 weeks and of the rest nearly all are cleared up within 6 months. Not me - this went on for years. It got worse and worse and eventually I was unable to walk or stand for more than a few minutes. One day I found myself lying down in the street just to get relief. The doctors tried everything short of surgery which carries some serious risks. A friend of mine had the same problem but surgery put her in a wheel chair for months and she had to learn to walk again.
Now either the treatments started to have some effect or I just learned to manage the pain but I reached a point where I felt I was either going to continue in treatment for an indefinite period or I was going to take charge of my own recovery.
The first thing I did was go to a specialist acupuncturist that had been recommended to me. You don’t have to believe in Chi to appreciate the pain-relief I felt - however it works it does work and I was pain-free for days.
Deciding to take charge was a wonderful, liberating experience. Thanks to Dr Google obviously I was a complete expert in all things back-pain related. Okay - maybe a real doctor was still my best option and I asked if I should try some sort of exercise. ‘Ja, gute Idee’ - well great, Herr Doktor, then why didn’t you suggest it? Anyway, adventures in internetland kept on turning up the same, intriguing path for me to take: Pilates.
I had never tried it but I’d heard great things about it. Living in fancy-pants Prenzlauer Berg can have some advantages and there were plenty of places waiting to turn my Euros into muscle. The fabulous Rosiris Garrido (http://www.rosirisgarrido.com/) is to thank not just for my recovery but for getting me to the point where I realised this path could take me not just back to where I was before but beyond to strength, control and well-being.
When Rosiris left my local studio I was at a loss but luckily I discovered her friend who had studied under the same teacher, Ami Garmon, had recently opened her own studio just around the corner from my place (http://remedy-berlin.com/en). Ami was trained in the same classic Pilates but also had experience from dance, yoga and, perhaps most importantly and just like Rosiris, her own recovery from serious injury. She was able to fine-tune my body to the point where I decided I wanted to make a statement, to start a new chapter. I was going to run the Berlin Marathon.