Bill Hobbs

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 getting 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.

Bill Hobbs
Photography: Calvin B
Photography: Jacob Ritz
Photography: Terrance Anderson

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.

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