The Humpty Dumpty Challenge is Born

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 1st, 2009 • The Humpty Dumpty ChallengePrint Print

humpty dumptyA couple of months ago, I woke up feeling very upset about how I was blacklisted from physical therapy several years back. I called my mom, in tears. “I was getting better,” I cried. “If they had just let me keep going, I could have been totally healed in, like, six months.”

As I spoke with my mom, an idea occurred to me: “Fuck them,” I said to my mom. “They wouldn’t pay for a so-called ‘cheerleader.’ I’m going to do this myself. I will find a rockin’ personal trainer – someone who will stand by my side, encouraging me every step of the way, and I will be completely rehabilitated in one year flat.” And so The Humpty Dumpty Challenge was born.

So I put it out to the universe to find myself a personal trainer. I also put it on Twitter, just for, you know, divine confirmation.

Ten days later, the electricity was turned off in my apartment building. I knew it was coming and planned to spend the day hiding out in a café. So I woke up early, grabbed my shit, and headed to the car. Only to be greeted by a blaring alarm that wouldn’t shut up, no matter how many times I pushed the damn zapper.

AAA came to tow me to Honda. Honda didn’t know what to do with the alarm. I called AAA again and got towed to an alarm company. They wrapped up within about 90 minutes. By then, it had been four hours since I’d first tried to enter my car and just two hours before I had a major gig. I had to careen back home to take a shower, jump in a suit, and get my ass on the road.

But the shower was ice cold, because, duh, the electricity was off and therefore so was the water boiler. I laughed under the freezing cold water, got out of the shower, and headed to my gym, to take a properly hot shower.

I had been going to the same gym for over a year. I had been going to the same bench in the locker room for over a year. But this time, there was a woman I’d never seen before, right in that little corner. The woman was ripped.

“OMG,” I squeeled, you have an amazing body. Do you work with a personal trainer? “I am a personal trainer,” she replied. NO FUCKING WAY.

Her name was Nina, and as it turned out, she was one of the two top trainers at the club. I sent Nina all kinds of articles I’d written about chronic pain, hypersensitivity, and various traumas I’d been through at the hands of health care practitioners. I wanted to make sure she was right for me.

Nina Moore


Not only did Nina not go running screaming in the other direction, but she replied with so much love and enthusiasm each time, ending her last reply with, “You will be treated with respect and dignity; at all times.” Damn email left me in tears. I knew this woman was for me.

On the first day of working together, Nina was impressed by how responsive my body was. “You are so ready to heal,” she said. “I’ve been ready to heal for over a decade,” I replied. “I’ve just been waiting for the right person to work with.” “Here I am!” she smiled.

We’ve only worked together five sessions, and already my body is different. I’m progressing rapidly. I’ve already gone from a yellow band (easiest) to a green band (next notch up), and my repetitions have more than doubled.

Thomai Hatsios


Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, I just so happened to be tootling around on Facebook. Up to that point, I’d only used it to drive traffic to my websites. I didn’t spend much time socializing on it. But there I was, looking at what various people I knew were up to. An ass-kicking Hollywood producer, whom I’d met at a gathering for feminist women in media, had just posted a note that she was looking for something to produce. “I”ve got something for you to produce,” I wrote.

And so Thomai joined the project as executive producer for what is now a webisode. How’s this for serendipity: She lives with chronic illness and is a certified yoga instructor, herbalist, and personal trainer. Oh yeah, as if that’s not enough, she’s the founder of Temple of Movement dance ritual for women – integrating yoga, dance, and other healing modalities.

Hold yer hats, lovelies, we’re in for a wild ride.

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