Day 37 #powerrehab: Engineer.

May 5, 2015 § 1 Comment

Have you wondered what day we were on?  I had to look it up.  Assuming I put the hashtag to rest when my training log runs out of room for stars, there are 56 days in total (Holy Week to Pentecost).

I thought that my reluctance would have faded by now.  I thought that I would be thrilled by my progress, thankful for the improvement in my pain, sanity, and mobility, impressed by my self-discipline, and pleasantly surprised by the bonus of shedding a few pounds.  But I am still a whiney, whiney, baby, y’all.

I will tell you the truth, because that is what I do here: I kind of hate #powerrehab.  The movement hurts, and it’s boring. I have to do it during my babysitting time because when I try to lay on the floor when my kids are around they sit on me. My diet, though familiar and highly rewarding, involves no wine or cupcakes.  Have you ever had wine and cupcakes and then had to not?  Yeah.

In an attempt to encourage myself, I got dressed in full workout gear last week, complete with thoroughly unnecessary high impact sports bra.  I met up with a friend at the gym during the girls’ class and we sat down to talk.  I tried to look so hard core there in the gym, among my people in my black spandex, but I squirmed in my seat, back and leg throbbing from the stupid reverse lunges I had forced myself through earlier in the day. I was failing at sitting. She noticed, and carefully asked, “Who do you have in your life reminding you to go slow, to not hurt yourself?”

“I am the only one who can do that.  Really.” She smiled, knowingly.

“No one is the boss of me,” I said, laughing. She did not laugh.

Every professional I have consulted has told me something different about the pain and how I should work with it.  There are basically two camps, Camp Avoid It — take drugs and be very still, and Camp Work With It — be smart and do painful things to get stronger.  You can guess which camp I am in.  I am squarely in the camp that makes for the most blogging material and the potential to use the Rocky IV soundtrack.  But the problem with the Camp Work With It is that you have to use “hurt vs. harm” judgement, and I am struggling with this. 

 I wish there were a tiny little engineer expertly monitoring gauges, pulling levers and executing complex maneuvers down at the base of my spine.  But it’s just me in here, being dumb and pressing buttons when they flash and beep.  I’m reading manuals and following instructions, but most of the time they don’t seem to go with the machine I’m building or they’re in a language I don’t know yet.  So I have to go with my gut and do the hardest thing ever — go very, very slow.  And in this slowness remember that my aim is not to rebuild my butt.

I have to remember that my aim is to build a body that lasts a long time.  I am building a body that can hold grandbabies, not just pull my current toddler out from under the couch.  I am building a body that can prance around the Y at 85, not ruin itself because of pride at 35. #powerrehab is not about avoiding screws and and clearing out my pillbox so much as it is prophesying and testifying to my faith that I have a hope and a future, despite pain and a chronic illness that regularly tries to convince me otherwise.

And so, bored and cupcakeless, I carry on, visions of my winkled old self dancing in my head. And now yours.  You’re welcome.

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