This may simply be an artifact of getting old, along with poor grooming and an embarrassing lack of a fashion sense, but my bodily pain seems to continually cycle in and out of my life. Just when I think I'm better and home free, something happens to make it crop back up again. As you can imagine, it's a bummer for me, who has to live with it, and a bummer for my family, who have to endure my whining. Then again, it's sort of amusing (at least for them), as well.
I had been pain free for about a year when I went back on the ice and sure enough, I twisted just the wrong way and hurt it again. I couldn't believe it, though I have to shoulder (or back) much of the blame because I have not been as diligent about stretching as I should be. It's a funny thing about getting hurt, you tend to go back to taking your health for granted once you're healthy again.
Well, I'm determined to not take my health for granted, and in the process of enduring more pain, I've learned a couple of things which in retrospect should have been obvious to me. First off, I'll do my stretching, even if it means looking like a big dork in the locker room. Fortunately for me, this will not be out of character. Second thing is to keep moving. I think the impulse is to rest and keep an injury stationary, and on some level this makes perfect sense, but I think it's also important to keep moving. The body has the ability to heal itself but somehow you can't just curl up in your bed and think things will be fine. I've found that moving around, even though it can be painful, aids the healing process.
And finally, I've found that relaxing helps to mitigate the pain in my back. I discovered this while getting into my car - I'm usually very tense in anticipation of the pain. I found, however, that if I just relax and ease up on the tension, the pain is much less, if not gone altogether. It takes some serious mind control to do this, but it makes sense in light of all that we're learning about mindfulness. I'm a believer.
Now I'm sure playing hockey and splitting wood, and eventually skiing, are all potential areas to aggravate my bodily pain, but a real man in training's gotta have a little fun now and then, doesn't he?
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to cosimo carbone for the pic.