My lower back and I have had a long and sometimes rocky relationship. And like most relationships , especially if I am one of the “relate-ers”, there are definitely two sides to the story. From my perspective, I pretty much gave my lower back, and body in general, the mid-70’s through the mid-80’s off, as I decided to engage in almost no physical activity and extensively explore the world of fast food, adult beverages and the entire line of Doritos products. From my lower back’s perspective, to be fair, the amount of gym time, running and high impact performing I’ve done since is probably grounds for whatever complaints it may have. However, unlike other relationships I may have been involved in, we can’t just separate and go our own ways, so we have to make it work.
Our first real blow up happened about 15 years ago. I was 5 mins into a 1 hour kickboxing class when I felt a sharp pain in that area.
“Why didn’t you just stop and leave the class, Bob”?
Well, because I was teaching said class. It was at a really nice L.A. Fitness in Irvine and I had a great group of about 40 participants. I wasn’t about to stop teaching just because of a little “tweak”, right? 55 mins later, I was a mess. I spent the last 15 mins more or less on 1 leg. They knew something was wrong, I knew something was wrong, but we silently, collectively decided to get through it together. That was the start. The doc said that I just “twisted some muscles in my back”, I hobbled around on a cane for a week and hobbled without it for another one, and then life moved on. But ever since then, maybe 2-3 times a year, my back and I would have a moment. Sometimes it would be me lifting something wrong, which I totally understand. That’s a valid reason. But sometimes it’s bending over to tie a shoe, getting into a car, that kind of thing. I don’t think that’s a reason to get upset, and yet my lower back would blow it up out of all proportion.
“This isn’t really about me getting in the car, is it”
My lower back ;
“Well maybe if we were still going to that yoga class you promised to take me to.”
“I was miserable. It was hot Yoga”
“ You used to be hot too. Now look at you..”
Yes, it would get ugly.
The latest round started with some soreness. Just a little bickering here and there for a couple of weeks. Snarky little responses to things like getting out of bed, putting on socks, that sort of thing. Nothing major, but storm clouds were brewing. Then last Saturday, I decided to start training for my next race, a half marathon in June, by running 6 1/2 miles, the first step in ramping up in prep for the 13.1 mile race. Yeah, I was a little sore in the morning, but things usually loosen up as I run. There might be some soreness after, but that’s part of the process.
As I started to run, the complaints started.
“I don’t want to do this.”
“ You never want to do this.”
“It’s too early.”
“ You’re lucky. Most runners run a lot earlier than I do”
“You always have a clever answer for everything, don’t you”
“ Would you just relax? Loosen up, we’ll discuss this later.”
There was my mistake.
In any relationship, the words “ Would you just relax” generally have the exact opposite effect. When was the last time you turned to your partner and said “would you just relax” and they responded. “ Oh My Gosh, you’re right! I have over-reacted and I apologize. You’re right honey, I don’t know what came over me”.
Well it didn’t happen last Saturday either.
Stiffness became soreness.
Soreness became pain.
I was 3 kilometers into my 10 kilometer run ( I know, kilometers? But that’s what my running app is set to, because I’m bougie that way) when “guess who” won the argument.
However, I’m not a saint.
“OK, you’re right. We can’t go on like this.”
“Finally, he listens to reason. So we’ll walk back to the bike and go home now?”
“Walk? I’m not spending the rest of the morning walking all the way back. Let’s get you back to your precious couch as quick as we can. How about a 3 k run back!”
A 3 kilometer run back to the bike. a quick roll home.
But, my friends, the silence didn’t last long. It’s been a constant, mostly 1-way conversation since. Whenever I get up, get into or out of my car, into or out of bed. L.B. has something to say. Let’s not even mention me going to the gym Monday and trying to do a “modified workout”.
I know. I’m not perfect. But I’m trying to learn. I’m taking a week off of running. I had a nice session with a lovely chiropractor, where both L.B. and I got to speak our peace.
When a relationship goes wrong, there’s no quick fix. It’s a process.
We’re going to get through this, L.B. & I.
Now. This blog was going to be about chiropractic treatment. I researched the history of it, the benefits, all of it. That’s what I was going to share with you this week.
This entire blog turned into one HUGE digression.
Sometimes life is like that.
I’ll probably share the Chiro blog next week.