merrill shoes

Last year, I thought my body was falling apart. I literally thought something was so wrong with me, I called my mom bawling. Like the type of crying that no mom wants to hear after they answer the phone (sorry mom). What was wrong with me? My lower back decided to turn its switch to torture mode.

The week before this incident, I had been sick in bed with some sort of migraine/fever/allergy-mess. Progressively over the days after my ‘sick in bed’ predicament, my lower back started to pull and pull and pull. My initial thought was dehydration. But no amount of water would relieve the feeling.

My next attempt at curing the pain was stretching. Even though my lower back was in excruciating pain, I knew that probably wasn’t the problem area. There has been multiple times in my life where lower back pain was caused by my glutes or hamstrings pulling on my lower back. So that’s where I began.

**Streeetch, hold, breath, go a little further, breath, go a little further, hold, release**

I kept at that pattern with different stretches, but to my disappointment, it was only getting WORSE!

After a sleepless night in bed, unable to fall asleep from discomfort and fear of what was wrong, I got up and realized this was something more than I could fix on my own. (insert major freak out here). I began thinking it was internal, and that maybe my kidneys were failing or worse…

Hours after this scare, I was supposed to be boarding a plane to Dallas, TX: a 2-hour plane ride. If I couldn’t get comfortable in my own bed, how in the world was I going to survive being forced to stay sitting down? Something had to be done. Problem solve, problem solve.

Because I don’t have health insurance, physical therapy is usually a joke and I didn’t want to just be given pain relief pharmaceuticals, I had to think of alternative options! After reaching out to people I trust, I was recommended to go see Tim Hawkins of Windhawk ~ “a leading edge wellness center in Arizona focused on empowering clients to achieve the perfect balance between Right Nutrition, Right Use and Right Mindset.

After an hour long session with Tim working on my lower back issue through Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), functional strength and posture, I felt AMAZING. Everything was gentle, effortless + comfortable. I was astonished at how just realigning your body to the basic fundamentals – with shoulder, hip, feet, ab, neck placement – you can fix imbalances with ease.

He answered my #1 question before I even had to ask…

Why in the world did this happen out of the blue?

His lesson: “One of the leading causes of muscle pain is poor posture.”

To explain his point, he took me through my day…

You wake up and do your thing and then SIT down for breakfast.

You get in the car and SIT in rush hour.

You get to work and SIT at the computer.

SIT for lunch.

Get home and SIT for dinner.

Then you go to bed and probably curl up in a position like you are SITTING.


Your body, being really smart, begins to tell itself … oh, you’re just sitting mainly, so we will morph things to make sitting your main function. Crazy right?!

A few weeks ago, I took a little time off … I was up and moving more than I normally am … so my lower back began to go in freak out mode again! I had trouble falling asleep at night it was bothering me so much! Thinking back to my success story with Tim, I rummaged through my files and found the stretches he printed out for me and spent about 30 minutes on the floor in Active Isolated Stretching … and after a few days, I healed myself! AMAZING!

SO! If you’re in Arizona, I HIIIIGHLY recommend seeing Tim at Windhawk … and if you’re not, look up someone who specializes in AIS in your city!

– Naturally inspired. Locally aware. Universally beautiful. With love, Tay.

P.S. My shoes are from Merrell ~ and I am in love with them. Light, comfortable + high quality! I particularly love that they don’t have any logos on them (I love Nike, but I’m not a fan of the HUGE ass Nike swoosh). I couldn’t find this shoe online anymore, but there are similar styles with fun color options here + here!


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