Bill’s story: How I got my life (and my tennis game) back
From an early age, I was always active, playing tennis and other sports. Out of nowhere, in my late 30s, I started having symptoms, and my body was always sore. Lin brought it all together for me. I have been able to achieve so much more in my life thanks to Lin.
The pain took away all of my hobbies, everything that made me happy. It sank me into a perpetual bad mood.
When I tried to play tennis – or anything requiring exertion – I felt like somebody had hit me with a hammer. My whole body hurt terribly. Even though I looked normal, I was sore all the time, and I had to use a scooter to get around.
This lasted for almost 10 years, with other people’s prayers as my only real treatment. Somehow, I made myself start playing tennis again. But the healing process was more complicated than just that. When I went back to tennis, I was still in pain and had injury after injury. Working out wasn’t so bad; somehow it didn’t bring on the pain. But tennis? From the moment I got in the car to drive to the court, my body would begin to hurt.
I injured both my shoulders. I couldn't even put my hand above my head. According to the doctor, I needed surgery. A short while later, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knee, and surgery was once again offered as an option. I just couldn’t accept it, and instead started to explore some of the mind-body stuff that I had found on the Internet.
Thanks to Lin, I know now that I was holding on to “muscle memory” of the pain I had from playing tennis and all the subsequent injuries. I also know that complaining about it was making it worse.
I saw a video with Dr. Sarno, who introduced me to the idea of self-healing. I discovered that some people would get better just by going through Sarno’s class. That gave me something to think about. I read a lot of books, but my knee just wouldn't get better. So when I saw an ad for Lin in one of my online groups, I figured, why not give it a try?
Lin brought it all together for me.
I knew a lot about mind-body healing going in, but working with my Lin coach, Tara, pushed me way beyond what I could accomplish on my own. She's helped me get back to doing what I love.
It’s fascinating how tennis – the exercise I love most – is a pain trigger for me. Tara taught me to tell myself that tennis is fun rather than dangerous, and that the longer I play, the stronger I get.
I’ll say things like "Oh, brain, you don't have to give my knee pain. I’m safe. I'm doing everything I need to – I'm working out, I'm getting healthier.” And then my body is fine.
Today, I'm very upbeat and positive.
I'm back to playing tennis a few days a week, even in the blazing Georgia summer heat.
Before I started with Lin, I'd be worried about my body, and my body would hurt while I was playing. But now, I'm able to play in all kinds of conditions. I even helped my team get to the playoffs in our division.
For anyone who is suffering, I would say, without hesitation – give this a chance. I have been able to achieve so much more in my life thanks to Lin.
I’ve been with Lin for about half a year. The results have been amazing. I’ve learned that it’s all about calming down the nervous system. Lin’s “brain-first approach” helped me find balance so that I’m not constantly in fight or flight mode. I’m more in control of my nervous system. And I can accomplish more.
I'm doing yoga three days a week and play tennis two or three days a week. So I'm much stronger.
My Recovery Toolbox:
- Fear-busting thought : I tell myself there is nothing wrong with my body. When I looked at my body, I used to think, "Oh, my body is broken, and I have all these problems." Now I know that I’m not broken, and I’m even stronger than most people my age.
- My mantra: “I'm a Viking giant, and I'm powerful.” (I’m pretty tall, 6’6”, so that’s a good one!)
- My best recovery advice: Lin is more powerful than all the books and groups because of it’s coaches, who share their personal experiences with chronic pain. Tara was so responsive - as soon as I’d tell her something in our chat, right away she'd send me a link with relevant resources. It’s totally personalized for you; you take the ideas right into your life.
- To all those starting their journey toward a pain-free life, I would say: Have an open mind, and don’t beat yourself up. It's not a straight line to get better. There are a lot of setbacks, but the most important thing is to realize that you're calm and you're safe.