As it turned out my situation was easily explained; I was the culprit, getting back to the gym too enthusiastically for the condition of my body – and my body reacted. The diagnosis of bursitis explained it but I was skeptical about the solution. Ice, anti inflammatory drugs, and rest. Who knew? I’m not ‘good as new’ but much improved. So nice to be functioning as a ‘whole’ human again after a couple of weeks when pain and rational thinking had disconnected. It was worse than the disconnection of crankiness from sleep deprivation – it was a distancing from reality.
I don’t understand my body as well as I could. Yet it speaks to me in aches, creaks and funny sounds I utter when bending or stretching, as if torn between semi-admitting mid-life reality while urging me to work out more, exercise more, walk more …
Recent ailments (back/shoulders), getting ‘back to normal’ has been painful, much slower recovery than I recall when I could call myself ‘young athlete’, middle-aged … or as recently as last year. Does that mean I’ve lost a step or two? Is it real-arthritis? Is it real damage to something or just ‘going too hard’ without taking things a step at a time?
But, I am back.
Short term pain, relief, pain, relief – these realities seem universal – but what about non-physical hurts, the emotional pains? Do we get relief from those? We do but the solution isn’t a pill or some form of therapy or manipulation – but rather self-delving into our self – a reality unique to ourselves but rarely unique in terms of our pains. They seem universal too.
When I am feeling sorry for myself I want to continue feeling sorry for myself, AN, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark. I enjoy your column. I ran across this quote a decade or two back and it has always stuck with me. As a baseline of need I don’t think one can do better than Sterling Hayden’s description. To me, the words ring more true now than they did when he wrote them in the 60’s -
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
In the worship of security we fling ourselves beneath the wheels of routine-and before we know it our lives are gone.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
I always thought that the ‘working activity/accomplishment’ portion was inspired and the key to the statement. After reading your column today I am left again wondering how many of us spend a whole lot of effort fulfilling the wants without looking after the key need of finding work that will yield a sense of accomplishment, SR, Calgary, AB
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