In the adjacent cubicle, the man, who I judge to be middle-aged by the sound of his voice, is describing his symptoms to the physical therapist. He talks about the pain that hounds him when he is standing on his leg. He goes to great lengths to describe his fitness routine that is a panoply of muscular feats: skiing in winter, in addition to rowing, road and mountain biking, training on the elliptical, lifting weights. But no running, he says. So, he continues, he doesn’t understand why his ankle is now getting in the way of his walking.
My physical therapist and I exchange a look and almost burst out laughing at the same time. I have just finished a similar soliloquy about how the pain in my back makes walking and standing at times nearly impossible. But not when I am spinning, or out biking, or training on the elliptical or climbing stairs, or … well, you get the picture.
She has been trying to tell me for weeks now to ease up. I’ve must have had my ears full of wax, because to me that sounded like she was telling me to cease. All of which had me terrified and desperately trying harder, as if the only way to move was to go from 0 to 60. Which is fine, when you are 20. Once you get closer to 60, though, you are better off going at 20, if you want to keep going.
She works for a long time on one set of muscles that have gripped my spine, as if hanging on for dear life. And in a way they have. Their grip the only way to get me to relax about exercise and so ensure their safety.
Which made me think: the daily rush here to post, what is that doing to my imagination that wants to run wild, up and down the slopes of the mountain to chase new visions? Are my words getting a little less flexible, the prose more rigid, tightly wound around the spine of each day? But then, writing is not the same thing as riding… Or is it?