Sunday, September 20, 2009

Painful Lesson

Earlier this year I made an awkward twisting motion as I moved a guitar amplifier and I wound up wrenching my back so badly that I couldn’t go from sitting to standing, or roll over in bed without being in excruciating pain. It was terrifying. Even using the toilet was a major ordeal. And as I caught glimpses of myself hobbling around the house I felt like I had become an old lady overnight. I have an injury from many years ago—a broken vertebra in my lower back – so I’m no stranger to back pain. This time, though, I was very worried that it would be permanent. It had been about a year since I’d run the New York Marathon for Exercise the Right to Read. As you may already know I’d only run it for the program and had said that that was it for me—I was not going to run any more marathons. It’s a hard distance and the training, I complained, was way too time-consuming. I had other things to do with my life than run! So during that year I’d fallen into a pattern of running four miles every other day. And not having any real goal except fitness…well, it was easy to rationalize not going for a run. My view on it had become tired—it was something I did for wellness, not joy. And then I wrenched my back, and like a slap upside the head I saw how fortunate I’d been to be able to run and how much I’d taken it for granted. Luckily, my back did heal, and when I was able to hit the streets again I had a whole new attitude. Mark and I even ran the San Francisco Marathon this summer for ETRTR. Every day I can run is a blessed day. From now on I intend to celebrate that. (If you want to see a sometimes funny, sometimes educational, sometimes embarrassing overview of our adventure at the SF marathon, click here.) Next Sunday: Cosmic (or, That’s Unbelievable!): Tales from the Flipped Set

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