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Jul 22

So It's Come to This, OR Ow My Aching Back

The Kraken

Behold the mighty Kraken, awakened from unholy slumber, ready to prey upon the unsuspecting, the defenseless. This is a metaphor for my aching back muscles. Do not try this at home; the deployment of extended metaphors should only be attempted by trained professionals. Photo by Kousto via Flickr.

I have a desk job. And I’m writing a book. And I live on the Internet. All of this means that I spend a lot of time sitting down. Add to this the fact that I was in high school when mall bangs were still very much in evidence, and you have a recipe for some sort of eventual body malfunction. I’m sorry to say that in this way, at least, I’ve been predictable: for the past few months, every morning I’ve woken up with an aching back, as if someone were kicking me all night. (I have been assured that is not actually happening.)

When I finally decided I needed to do something about it because it clearly wasn’t going away on its own, I took myself off to a chiropractor (a holistic pain clinic, actually). There are some, and they are legion, who view all chiropractors as only slightly more respectable than brown goo you’d scrape off your shoe. I am not one of those people. If I have a funny-looking spot on my skin or a cough that won’t clear up, I’ll head to my regular doctor. But if my back hurts and I’m pretty sure the reason is because I spend way too much time at my PC, a chiropractor does just fine.

After some diagnostics, it turns out that as I suspected, the root cause of the pain is that my back muscles are composed primarily of marshmallow creme and fairy dust. So while they were able to fix me up temporarily, they made it abundantly clear that the long term fix is a healthier diet, lots of exercise, and weight loss (specifically, 22 pounds by the end of the year; file that under Oddly Specific, eh?).

To that end, my husband and I spent part of this weekend figuring out all the doohickies on the home gym thing we recently purchased. After much spirited discussion and deciphering of confusing instructions, it was more or less successfully set up. I then proceeded to work my way through the beginner workout, which is a quick full body-ish strength training/aerobics combo. The first half was lower body and abs, and as I was muscling through that, I thought, “Hmm, this is pretty easy. Maybe I should up the resistance.” Then I got to the upper body portion, which conveniently focuses primarily on the back.

OH. OW. Hard. Muscles burning. Losing focus …  Vision fading … Can’t breathe … I love you all … Tell everyone goodbye for me …

Okay, it wasn’t quite THAT bad. But having to reduce the resistance on the back portion of the beginner workout—the fact that I’m admitting that publicly is how you know I have no pride—was a clear indication that Something Must Change. It just sucks that that something is the comfortable, sedentary way of life I’ve come to cherish.

Ah well. So be it. I’m embracing the challenge, and maybe I’ll even learn a thing or two. In fact, I already have learned something: it is possible to have sore armpits.

2 comments

1 ping

  1. Alanna

    Hang in there, my dear! At least, metaphorically speaking anyway! Weight loss and being active isn’t easy. I’ve been trying to get myself off to the gym more and changing my diet too but ….

    *flails* It’s ssssoooo hard!!!

    However, I believe in you!!

    1. Evelyn Stice

      Say thank ya. I’m working on it! Making good progress, too.

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