As anyone who's suffered physical trauma knows -and I'm just now finding out- things don't always go well. They're not going well right now.
Got a little cocky early on, because things were going too well. I was feeling really good- and the physical sensation of running again and lifting small weights.. I guess the endorphins, or whatever, went straight to my head. It's like I ran a mile and immediately signed-up for the Chicago Marathon. Actually, it's exactly like that- 'cause that's exactly what I did; I ran a mile and late that same night I signed-up for the 2010 Chicago Marathon. I'll run it, too. It's not 'til October. In the meantime, I'm as sore as Hell and getting worse, not better- slower, not faster. It's incredibly frustrating. One of the guys here at the office, who clearly doesn't read this blog (ha) and had no idea what had happened to me, stopped me in the hall the other day. He's about the nicest guy in the world- always stopping ya to chat and ask how you're doing. Just seriously a wicked nice man. And he says he saw me limping across the parking lot the other day, and he was worried about me. Did I twist my ankle or something? I kinda smiled a weak little smile (I thought I was doing great- and in no way limping, that's for sure) and told him in a nutshell what had happened and that I was getting way better and blah blah blah.. Thing about this gig is- you're not doing a lot of heavy lifting.. but you're bouncing around in live trucks all day long. Now all of a sudden I catch myself hobbling around all the time. I think that hallway chitchat gave me a little dose of self-awareness I simply was not ready for. Whatever. This too shall pass.
Here's the one that really ticked me off..
I'm at the gym the other day- this poser gym (God love the people there- but it's a poser gym) down the road from my place. I walk there every day and do the elliptical for a little while or run my mile or whatever and then steam for 3 hours and take a shower so long and hot it makes you want to write a check to an environmental group and maybe plant a tree (thanks for the line, Andre Agassi). But on this particular occasion I attempt some light curls (on a machine).. and my body- my back- is racked with pain.. but I've gotta move these weights, right? I've gotta get back in shape right now- RIGHT?
And there's this dude. Now, I stop short of saying "jackass," but there's this dude who has been chatty with me in the past at this poser gym (I'm anti-social) and I'm sure he's a nice dude (probably not a jackass at all)- but upon catching the look of pain on my face in the mirror, he mimicks it as he passes by AND I WANT TO STOP WHAT I'M DOING AND RIP OUT HIS LUNGS!
Is that wrong?
He doesn't know. He has no idea that the vertebrae are still fusing around those screws in my back.. That probably I shouldn't even be here.. Shouldn't be doing this.. That anger and frustration well up inside me over the state of my body every single day and drive me to Go. Do. Something.
Dude has no idea.
It makes me think, though, about my own behavior. How many times in my life have I been insensitive to another, not knowing their situation, their limitations- the cross that may be theirs to bear, or what they may be going through in their life.. the pain they may be in. I hope it's not that many times, but I bet I've done it. Even if just through impatience..
Dude made me think.
I've got some really good allies in this little struggle of mine who I will talk about at another time. This next conversation's a bit like Fight Club, tho.. remember the first rule of Fight Club? The second?