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Losing and Gaining My Ability

The Day My Passion Was Out Of Reach

By Stina JourneyPublished 6 months ago 4 min read
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Losing and Gaining My Ability
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

This is a chapter in my life when my body was incapable of pursuing my career and passion.

Have you even been in a situation when you do something you love so much, your body decides to hurt, give up, make you disabled, incapable of performing how you use to?

I am a piano instructor and my hands are basically the sole provider. I use my hands to help students learn new pieces or to show them technique, basically how to move their hands.

Lets go back to 2020, I lost my teaching career due to COVID and had to pick up a job as a fruit cutter. I use to call the job Ninja Fruit Cutter because of the game. After 8-9 hours of endless cutting, my wrist started hurting a lot. I got slower at cutting. Needed a wrist guard but was not allowed to wear one.

Time passed I got out of that job and back into teaching again. I took up roller skating. Again, no wrist guards. I fell so many times trying to learn new tricks. I was not hurting at the time. I later did wear guards because I was falling so many times, I did not want to risk it.

Time passes, I start practicing a violin concerto for someone. I started practicing for hours every day, trying to land those rows of octave chords. These are chords where I have to stretch my entire hand to play. I got faster and better. Then, one day happened. I had to stop completely.

Sharp pain. Horrible sharp unbearable pain. I sit out for one week. Two weeks. Three weeks. A whole month. Still nothing. I stopped playing piano and had to resort to playing only my right hand for my students. This was not working at all. I needed my left hand back.

Months pass. I decided to see a doctor. She diagnost me with Carpel Tunnel. She told me to just stretch the wrist a certain way for 30 seconds. Tried that for a month. It maybe got 10% better but I knew I needed to see an actual Physical Therapist. She got me one. All of September was dedicated to getting my passion back.

Week one. I felt so much pain from my shoulders to my fingers. I felt so weak. My metal state was determined but at the same time, I wanted to cry because playing piano is what I absolutely love to do.

Week two. Showing signs of microscopic improvement. Not much but enough to get me motivated to getting better even faster.

Week three. Even more improvement but I was nowhere near where I needed to be. I exercised every day. I even showed some of my students who also had problems with their wrist. I learned I needed to be careful on how I play piano. I started playing maybe 10 minutes every other day. The time I had at the piano was short due to being scared. I did not want to fall backwards because I was using my hand to play.

Week four. 20 minutes of playing now. I can play every day. One day out of the week, I played the first couple of pages from the violin concierto. I cried. Every day from the time it first started to now, I could not enjoy playing. Now, because of the amount of time I dedicated towards therapy, my wrist, my whole arm was getting better. I got out of my seat in complete awe. I shouted. I jumped. I cried. I was so emotional. I played for 20 minutes.

Week 5. Playing for 20 minutes but faster. I decided to try out the section of the piece with octave chords. Slowly. Scared. I tried it. My wrist still hurts but not as much. Everything is coming together but slowly. I finally started working out again. I had to give up bench pressing, push ups, curls, etc. Now, I can slowly bring in wall push ups, bench press without weights. 8 pound curls. Finally, I can see my life coming back to how it use to be before that day happened.

Week 6. My last week of PT. Weights are going up. Pain is going away. Playing piano is starting to become a normal every day thing now. I still get scared going back to how I use to be. Sometimes it does not feel real I have this ability to play again. The physical pain and the pain of not able to pursue my passion really affected me. But every day is a new day. I can workout now. I can teach piano again.

Week 7. I am officially on my own in this. It was so hard because I had no trainer. Life has opened up opportunities for me to teach my mother, my students, my friend how to exercise for their wrist. I know more on not only helping myself but others who have the same problem or will have the same problem if they do not act now.

Sometimes I feel like this was a gift from God. I look back and I find this a blessing. My wrist could have been worse even though at times, it felt horrible and unbearable. But God gave me an opportunity to learn for the future. I can give my students a way to practice without building up the potential to hurt their wrist or shoulders.

When life gives you the inability to pursue your passion, do not give up. Ray Charles became blind but pursued piano. Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack. She still pursued surfing.

They all had the focus, determination, drive to keep moving. Keep going. Never setteling for seeing their disability as a dead end. You can too. If you ever find yourself not pursuing your passion how you use to even if it is through getting older, less time, in pain, losing something, etc., figure out a way to get it back or to find a new passion. Never settle. Never stop moving.

self help
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