Our daughter Elsa is nearing 40 pounds, and she isn't quite walking yet. That means my husband and I carry her more or less everywhere.
Up and down the stairs...
In and out of the car...
Into and out of adaptive equipment...
The maneuvering is often tricky, requiring small twists and jerks. Not so good for our backs. (Here's a video of me helping Elsa around the playground, a good example of how we often hunch over to support her.)
A few months ago, I started experiencing extreme back pain. To work out the kinks, I would spend 20 minutes of my one-hour workout time simply stretching and massaging my back on a foam roller. At night I would crawl into bed aching, only to be greeted by the same stiffness all over again the next morning, except slightly worse.
Lucky for me, I have a dear friend in Hillary Jarvis.
God saw to it that Hillary and I connected about three years ago, when Hillary and her family left the South and returned to Chicagoland. Hillary's daughter Olivia also has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, and when she started researching doctors, she specifically sought out an experienced pediatrician who may have treated at least ONE other child with WHS. She found just that. Our mutual pediatrician and our daughter Elsa.
Today Hillary is one of my dearest friends. We have so much in common, besides our daughters' diagnoses. One of those things is having a serious side hustle. For me, it's writing. For Hillary, it's fitness. (Check out her incredible free workouts on the HillaryJ YouTube Channel.)
Which brings us back to why I came to Hillary with my back pain. I knew she'd understand, and I knew she'd have ideas for helping. She gave me three easy exercises to do. And THEY WORK. I seldom complain about my back anymore, and that's not because Elsa's getting lighter!
Here's a video of the exercises that have helped me so much:
We all can make excuses for not exercising or stretching, but don't try your excuses on Hillary! Her advice: Make your excuse your reason. She works out because Olivia can't - which always shuts me right up!
Thank you Hillary for sharing your talents and gifts, and your fierce friendship and support, E V E R Y single day.