I am grateful for my injuries. I’ve always been the type to push and push and push – until it breaks. I’ve been through a dislocated shoulder, herniated discs in my neck and low back and most recently a torn hamstring. I rest just long enough for the pain to go away and then I am back working out as usual. This has left me with chronic injuries that never quite healed right and flare up from time to time (inopportune times of course!). The latest in my string of mishaps was a torn hamstring. This one put me down, for even longer than my disc herniation. It’s nearly a year later and that right hip/hamstring is still not the same. Last December, so proud that I was keeping up with my workouts over our Christmas vacation, we were running sprints on a soccer field; and I felt a really bad, tearing pain in my right hip. Tried to run another sprint – of course – but couldn’t. Totally ticked off, I decided I should cut the workout short and hobbled home. I think I took just one day off and then continued to workout through the pain. About 3 months later, just prior to book launch time for Ultimate You, I was feeling the pressure to lean up a bit more – despite looking the best I’d probably ever looked and discounting the 7% body fat I’d already lost – but the pain in my hip was so significant I couldn’t’ even step up on to a curb without wincing. I was freaked out! I was a fat loss expert right? My name was about to be out there in the fitness world and all my crap about not knowing if I could hang with these other super fit experts was building up. But I had no choice this time, I had to rest. I literally couldn’t push anymore. I had to accept my expertise, my body and go out there and promote the book as, well, myself. Well hamstring…you got me. Finally something broke. For the first time, I had to chose to care for my body and not push. Now those of you who know me, know this taking it slow thing and not getting right back to my old way of working out has been torture! I whine about it from time to time and I am frustrated that I can’t run sprints with the weighted sled behind me yet or even do lunges….but I’m learning to push where I can, to do exercises that seem boring to me (but that will help me heal) and to simply honor that right now, I am still injured. I don’t slow down much and I don’t rest much….at least that’s who I’ve always been. This injury finally got me to slow up, actually listen to my body and not accept defeat, but accept where I am….for now. In my workouts now when it starts to hurt, I actually tell my trainer and make necessary corrections. In the past, I’d actually think “Hide that wince on your face Brooke, he’s gonna know you are hurting and make you stop these squats and go do some lame corrective exercise!” As frustrating as it’s been I’m grateful at nearly 36 that I’ve finally learned to listen to my body….and those lame corrective exercises? I have to admit, they are helping.