The older I get, the more I see the adage of “darkest before dawn” being a truism.
A certain Zen-master sensibility takes over as I age whenever the fit really hits the shan.
“Oh, wow. A gnarly wave of suckage cresting on the right. Head down, hang on, and pray, woman.”
When I had that almost-a-major-setback with my back the other day, I went to some pretty fucking dark places. It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster week for me, and I’m done, man.
Done on a few levels, that is. I think I’ve hit a major turning point with my back. The almost-major-setback, it turns out, was that I had been doing a very important stretch wrong. Ever so slightly wrong, too.
There was a miscommunication in having the stretch explained/digested, and as a result I was extending backwards instead of forwards, causing a minor compressing of the spine — but after a week or so of the compression, kaboom. Yowch. Something slipped as I started to pedal my bike and I went to That Dark Place.
And this stretch, the difference in placement of my tailbone is all of, say, 1 horizontal inch. It’s really not a lot, but that angle changes shoulder-level by about 30-degrees, just enough to fuck a girl up.
For me, this incident is a reminder on a number of levels.
- Close often isn’t good enough. Which is, you know, not good enough.
- When you’re doing yourself harm, it’s not always apparent until it’s too late.
- Know the result you want, and how to recognise it.
- Attention to detail is time well spent.
- Attempt to undo damage all you like, but if you ain’t gettin’ it right, then you’re makin’ it wronger.*
- Solutions tend to reverse tides in a hurry. Step 1. Act. Step 2. Worry only if it motivates you to do Step 1.
- I am a tough bitch.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t working for wellness. I was. Daily rehab and stretching.
I was just doing it wrong. One small part of it. No good deed goes unpunished, as the cynical old bastards always say.
And this too shall pass, say others. With stretching apparently down, it seems like the mix is right and it will settle.
Life comes with interruptions and setbacks. If we can’t take them for what they are, an opportunity to adjust our thinking and try another tack, then we’re destined for a pretty bumpy journey.
What solves other lives ain’t gonna solve mine. It’s not a one-size-fits-all dealio, so there’s a lot of bump-in-the-night that we each need to do to get there.
I’m coming up on three years with this back injury, and it’s the first time I’ve ever nailed this particular stretch that releases this particular combination of muscles. That other old truism, never too late to change, appears to be indicative of my rehabilitation, too.
Believe? Why not. Sure, I believe.**
It’s fitting there’s sunshine today. I could use a little basking in the light.