What a Sports Injury Taught Me This Week

It’s been kind of weird week on my end, so I thought I’d do a little writing in lieu of our weekly link love series today.

I realize I haven’t had a chance to share all that much with you guys over the past few days, and I love our “coffee talks!”

hallie wilson soulcycle instructor and fitness blogger

Earlier this week, I found out that I have tendonitis in my left wrist and elbow.

It’s not super serious, thankfully, but it’s been this dull pain that’s bothered me for months and I’ve sorta just… Ignored it. (Naturally, my physical therapist took 10 seconds to diagnose it.)

Today’s post isn’t really about tendonitis, though, so even if you don’t think you can relate, I’m willing to bet you can…

Let’s back up:

Setbacks really suck. Regardless of how they translate in your life at the moment — work, blog, a relationship, exercise and so on.

It’s almost like they slowly creep up on you, too. Nothing major, just a bit of pain or discomfort or a nagging feeling that something is off.

“It’s nothing,” you think to yourself. No big. Right?

That’s what I’ve been doing with this annoying ass pain in my arm.


chicago soulcylce instructor hallie wilson wearing a pink and black nike pro bra

So on Monday of this week, I finally met with my Physical Therapist.

“Yeah, you have tendonitis,” she said. Like, instantly.

… Fuck. Okay.


I mean, I guess that’s to be expected: I work out and teach at SoulCycle anywhere from 15-20 hours a week, which is why my upper body, back and shoulders don’t have the mobility that they should… Or in other words, I’m tight as a mother f’er. As a result, I’ve been overcompensating in my wrists, which is how it happened. (Mainly in yoga, ironically, which I thought was helping my mobility.)

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem all that serious, but what she said next really got my attention:

hallie wilson soulcycle instructor wearing a nike women pro black and pink padded sports bra

If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re going to risk doing some permanent damage.

Whoa, gut check.


I’ve been thinking about that concept a lot this week.

As an added layer to this weird physical sensation I’ve been experiencing, I haven’t felt super inspired lately (as we discussed in this post about how to get out of a rut).

It happens, right? I guess I’ve just… Well, I’ve been busy. Way too much multi-tasking going on over here.

chicago fitness blogger and soulcycle instructor hallie wilson

Somewhere along the way, this idea of “busy” has become a strange, even sought-after social status symbol. It’s like we romanticize the idea. Safe to assume many of us have humble-bragged about how “swamped” we always are, no?

Admittedly, I’m very guilty of this. I’m a multi-tasker to a fault. And not in a good way.

I blog and teach full-time (yes, teaching fitness is a full-time job). I’ve forgotten to each lunch on more than one occasion and I’m the worst at adding task-after-task to my to-do list. Personally, I do this because I thought that working myself to the bone (quite literally, in my case) would make me more… um, successful? I guess?

Sound familiar?

hallie wilson chicago soulcycle instructor wearing a nike pro bra and legendary high-waisted tights

This week has been a big lesson for me on the personal front: That is to say, learning to say no. For me, that’s been in the form of not multitasking and — unfortunately — not going to yoga. For now.


Yes, of course busyness can translate to success; but I’ve also learned that it can equate to exhaustion, distractions and if you’re not careful, health problems.

Be honest: How much do you actually take care of yourself? I mean, like, really put forth an effort into caring for y-o-u?

I am not asking how many items are on your Get Shit Done list, nor am I wondering how many e-mails are in your inbox. (Any guesses as to mine? LOL)

For many of us, the lines between work and home are blurred. We’re glued to our many different devices, we’re obsessed with planners and lists and so-on and so forth and honestly I think it all just ends up sapping our ability to be present and form actual human connections that we crave.

nike pro padded bra

It doesn’t have to be this way.

This weekend — right now — make some time to take care of yourself. Carving out time to do nothing doesn’t mean you’re falling behind. Find the delicate balance of saying “no” to things so you can say “yes” to yourself. (You’re a lot more than a list-making machine, you know.)

You are a result of what (and who) you let permeate your life on a day-to-day basis.  Sometimes, you don’t even realize it, but too much can build up (body immobility, in my physical case), which will make other things suffering in return (my joints/wrists).


Log off. Power down. Laugh. And drink up.

Love you, mean it.  x H

chicago fitness instructor and blogger wearing nike pro bra and legendary high-waisted tights

…And in case you’re wondering about that tendonitis (thank you!), don’t worry: With a little icing, a lot of Advil and some physical therapy, it’s been very manageable thus far. I’ll keep you posted.

*In this post:

Black tank: Nike ‘Elevate’ racerback tank
Sports bra: Nike Pro padded sports bra (comes in three colors)
Leggings: Nike Pro ‘Legendary’ high-waisted tights
Sneakers: Nike Free TR Fit shoes (comes in lots of colors)

Click to shop:


Nolis Anderson Photography for Nike Chicago


  1. Physical therapists are special people – glad to hear you are getting some relief. Set backs ARE hard. But they give you perspective, thanks for sharing! My two cents, if you can find a pilates instructor that is a physical therapist = secret weapon girl!

  2. This was lovely, Hallie. I miss my soul therapy sessions in the form of your class, so this felt like a nice dose of that until I am back in the country. Hope you are feeling better soon!

  3. You’re amazing, your insight and advice are some of the very best! Get well soon!! I need to get back to SC to see you!

    All the X’s and all the O’s

  4. Love this, and you! I’m in the exact same boat, on a lot of different fronts, so just know you’re not alone. Can’t wait to sip on a glass and chat more about it next month.

  5. LOVED THIS! I was diagnosed with tendonitis that ended up being Jumper’s Knee when I was in high school that ended my volleyball “career”. But more recently, I’ve been training for a half marathon that’s now next weekend, and about 2 weeks ago I did something to my foot (thought it was a cramp, it’s not. possibly a pulled muscle?) and I’m not sure I can run the half. I’m really bummed about it, as I’ve worked so hard, but I’m just going to try and pull through. Thank you for writing this post! I totally needed to hear it!

  6. I was having pain in my back/shoulder/upper arm and ignored it for about six months…turns out, I have an abnormally weak rotator cuff on my dominant arm right now, despite regular exercise. Something to do with the way I sit and I naturally hold my head too far forward on my neck. I recently went through a round of PT but after I tapered off and continued doing the exercises I could at home, it came back! So annoying—best of luck with yours 🙂

    Also, the NY Times published a piece a few months back where the writer put the “I’m busy” feeling to the test, and logged her hours for a year–discovering she’s not actually as busy as she says or feels (and most of us aren’t!). It was an interesting read: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/opinion/sunday/the-busy-persons-lies.html?_r=0

  7. Preach! Totally believe when you say no to something, anything, it really means saying yes to something else. This past year I actually set a limit about going out twice per week unless it was a mandatory work event because I wasn’t giving as much time to my family by finding events I “needed” to be at. It’s powerful to say no and not give a reason. It just is what it is, and being at home for my family, and for me, has been a necessary change.

    Anyway, I could go on and on but you get it. Glad to hear you’re feeling better!


  8. there must have been something going on with the energies and planets last week because i felt the exact same way. completely in a funk, uninspired, unmotivated and completely not myself. i spoke to a friend who felt the same way as well. so glad last week is OVER! new week means new energy. hopefully this one will be better for you 🙂

  9. Get better soon babe! I feel ya – I still get funky aches and pains and go to physical therapy and I am not nearly has sporty as you!

  10. This is a very well timed post as I’ve recently strained my calf (I think by taking too many spin classes). A two week break later and it still doesn’t feel right. Very discouraging but I guess I’ll give it some more time. Hard to find any good cardio that doesn’t heavily rely on the calf muscles. Hope your body heals soon!

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