“Hey friend, watch what I can do!”

I excitedly dipped my knees towards the ground in an extended squat to show off the progress I’ve made in my flexibility…and then my problem knee twinged painfully.

Rather than get upset or feel deflated about not being able to move like I want, I carefully get up and start moving around.

I’m used to this. My knee has had pain for several decades after I tore some cartilage in it. I’ve been working on it with practitioners of all types ever since then. I used to think I’d heal back to “normal” after my knee surgery, but it’s never been fully resolved.


gif of a person on the beach doing a hands free knee bend to the ground


Setbacks suck.

I used to feel so discouraged when I’d leave my doctor feeling so much better, and then the next day, my knee would suddenly be painful while I was just going for a walk or attempting a simple dance step. I cried more than a few times wondering what I was doing wrong. I even had some chats with Spirit about what I could do to “deserve” relief from the pain.

We get so thrilled by moving forward in our goals (like mine to have free range of movement without pain). But the second we have a setback, it’s so easy to take it personally and feel terrible.

I hear my clients lament about taking “two steps forward, one step back” like it’s a personal failing. Like they haven’t tried enough, or if only they were working harder, they wouldn’t have setbacks. But the truth is, life just be like this.

There’s no need to garnish your pain with a big dollop of shame for not having resolved the issue by now. As one of my clients said recently, “sometimes lemons stay lemons, they aren’t always turned into lemonade.”


gif with purple background and a yellow line drawing in the shape of a lemon. Text in the center reads "sometimes lemons stay lemons." by Allen Adler


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