My body had fallen apart. My limbs were not flying around the room, disconnected and free like a dissected Barbie, Power Ranger or erector set. I did not need to pick up small pieces of myself from the floor. Instead, my parts had been glued together with extra strength glue, screwed together tight; too tight to move.
Photographed by Michael Martin
We often take for granted our health and mobility until we experience a spell where we can no longer do the simple motions we have grown accustomed to doing. I have struggled with body pain for years now, and occasionally push through my schedule by medicating with Ibuprofen and stubbornness. When in peak form, I revel in my ability to climb, bend, hold strong poses and present myself as not only a model but as an athlete. I am nimble, daring and going to create the best art I can. Some days an extra dose of caffeine and willpower is what helps me through difficulties.
I stretch regularly to stay healthy and flexible. Hot showers are one of my favorite things and conveniently serve as a way to relax stressed muscles, meaning a long shower is not just being luxuriant but a necessary treatment. Last summer my body was in fits after a couple of busy months - I was all knotted up and almost in tears when not actively modeling. Sometimes the stillness of standing or sitting hurts far more than when focused on physical movements, so I never stop. One intensely hot day, I went on a walk and stumbled upon We Heart Massage Co-op and scheduled a much needed massage. Now I swear by Massage by Gregory, who is magical and “fixing me,” and is part of my body maintenance program when back in Houston.
I was unable to turn my head much and dreaded the prospect of putting my travels on hold for a month of chiropractor appointments, as I was advised. Fortunately, my second opinion was someone referred to me by Gregory the masseuse, and after a visit with Dr. Greg Green of Green Chiropractic, I had regained much of my former self. Right now, I can look to my left and see a guy working on his computer with a cup of coffee, and turn right to see a cute girl in an overly see-through blouse sipping on juice and studying, all without moving my body. This may not seem like much, but just last week, I would have needed to twist my entire torso.
I do not know if my recent issues are because growing older truly means our bodies become more difficult, or if I am putting extra stress on my body with my modeling. I believe my neck problems were due to a combination of emotional and physical stress from the environment I was in, driving in the snow, and a few unlucky torques to my body. Bending over and putting extra weight on my head as I pose is not exactly a natural position for our spines. Either way, I am glad to know I have a few resources available to help keep me in alignment as I continue to push myself to create the best art I can do, always.