Everybody know what it feels like. That vile and calamitous moment; it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. The tweak, the twinge, the stabbing and burning pain. In spite of all of my “core” training, in spite of all the full body functional movements that I perform on a regular basis, I have done “something” to my lower back. Sigh.
After a 5 mile run Friday morning, and a 37 mile cycling adventure on Saturday, I was not feeling inclined to do a bunch of cardio on Sunday morning. I had wanted to set up a tire obstacle to assist us in our training for the warrior race. I had seen some old tires piled here and there throughout the orchard, and so I pulled on my running shoes and set out on a treasure hunt. I found several tires on an old rock pile, and after trimming away the overgrown vegetation, was able to free the tires and set them aside for later use. I found a 4th tire near the top of another rock pile. I was so proud of myself for climbing to the top, being careful of snakes, and releasing said tire itself from beneath some rather large rocks. I rolled it to the bottom of the rock pile, clamored down, then lifted and tossed it free of the vegetation. I walked out to pick it up, and discovered that there was a fully grown productive beehive hidden in the recesses of the tire rim. Gulp, guess I need to keep looking. Having exhausted all the nearby options, we got in the truck and quickly found the remaining tires that we needed to set up the obstacle. After my initial runs at this obstacle, it became apparent that running tires is way more difficult than it looks. I’m not certain exactly when the tweak to my lower back happened. It could have been when I was lifting and tossing the tires. One of the tires was unexpectedly much heavier than the others (thank you steel belted radials), and I could have just misjudged in that regard. It could have been one of the numerous times where I flailed and landed smack on my face, bouncing up from said tires. Looking on the bright side, it seems that I will get that longed for rest day!
When I woke on Monday morning, my back was still feeling very sensitive. I needed to drive to Seattle (a 4 hour car trip) for a dental appointment. I packed up my fitness bands and running shoes. I really don’t need anything else to get in a great workout, and headed back over to the “wet” side of the state. When I got up on Tuesday morning, I had really wanted to go for a run, but the back was still very tweaky. I satisfied myself with 300 squats and 300 lunges, which surprisingly, did not cause any discomfort.
At the dentist office, I wound up needing to have a wisdom tooth pulled. It had broken apart, and unfortunately could not be saved. I have to be thankful that the dentist was willing to do this all on an initial office visit. They were quite willing to bend normal procedures to accommodate my long car trip. I hate going to the dentist almost more than anything else in the world that I can imagine, and after sitting through an excruciatingly long (4 hours) session at said dental office, nothing was done to alleviate my disdain. The office staff was great, but the young McDoctor didn’t do anything to change my long-standing opinion of dentists. Finally freed from the trauma of the dentist’s office, I headed back to my parents’ place. I had such grand visions of visiting old friends and getting in some exercise, but I merely plopped myself down in a reclining chair and while laying there, my face proceeded to swell like a little chipmunk storing nuts for the winter. Of course, I had to ask about exercise, and I was informed that I was not to undertake any at all for two full days. Truthfully, with the swelling in my face, it is not a difficult prescription to follow. Today, I will not exercise. I will heed the doctors advice and the throbbing in my jaw and wait for my body to heal.
The metaphorical aspect of an obstacle race is not lost on me. Life is so like that. Just when you think things are running smoothly, boom, an obstacle pops up in front of you. Whether it be an injury, an illness, a change in plans, a change in schedule, bottom line here, life always dishes up obstacles. The way I see it, there are three ways you can deal with an obstacle. You can run away from it, you can avoid it and put it off til later, or you can crush that bitch and knock it down. If I let myself, I can always find a reason or an excuse or a hurdle to prevent me from being my best. Obstacles in life are unavoidable, but whether I choose to go through them and attack them with vigor, or avoid them altogether and use them as an excuse to sabotage myself, is a choice that I make. The obstacles do ultimately make my journey more difficult, but facing them does not make it less rewarding. Today, feeling a bit like a chipmunk, my biggest obstacle is to allow myself time to heal, and then get back on it. It would be so easy to just relax and use the oral surgery as an excuse to sit on my ass and eat ice cream. Truthfully, doc said two days, and I will take two days, and then, chipmunk cheeks or not, I will once again, be ready to knock it down.