11 December 2011

Oh, My Aching Back

That's right, I have a backache. Started with a weird twinge yesterday as I bent slightly down, very slightly, to fetch something from the seat of a chair in the hall. The sensation was odd, definitely distressing. And ever since I have had a pain along my upper right pelvis in the back. It's not unbearable, but it is annoying and does cause me to rise and sit more carefully.

My theory of why I got it involves a prior pain, from a groin pull about a month ago. I was at the gym doing less presses, and quite honestly pushing my limit - 450 lbs in fact - and felt the pain as I was doing that weight, but it was not immense so did not stop. On the next day was I sore in a new and unfamiliar way that said, "stop doing that." So I did stop. Didn't do another one for the next month, and only resumed on Friday with a maximum of 50 pounds.

(To assuage my sagging masculinity in admitting this I will boast of improved bench presses, though. After a long time I have finally gotten back to 225, a weight not seen more than once or twice in almost 20 years.)

But it was a slight movement, one not involving either my right adductor (groin) or my right pectoral (chest) that sent my lower back into painful protest. Methinks it is simply age, wear and tear. That, more than anything, is what bothers me.

You see, I am a late bloomer. Far from the wunderkinds and prodigies that often enthrall us, I was always the last to succeed. I was the last of my seminary colleagues to get a church, and when I did it was the smallest and poorest of them all. I arrived at my current church, a large and prosperous one, far later than most who get that honor.

For a long time this bothered me, feeling like the last and all, and then I realized that maybe I was on a longer arc than others. Mozart never lived to see forty, or Schubert. Those who did brilliantly in youth rarely outperformed themselves in age.

My nature, I told myself, was the tortoise not the hare - invoking a story that rewards plodding and unexciting work. My best days were still ahead of me!

So I told myself until this week. Then I thought of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela and and other 'elders' who rose to their peak long after youth, who manage to be both impressive and aged. That's a pretty good goal, now that I think about it.

But if I could avoid a cane a little longer, that would be nice, too.

1 comment:

Revwilly said...

We've been thinking the same thoughts!