There are a lot of wonderful things about exercise in mid-life. We talk about them all the time on this blog. Fun with friends (my biggest motivator), overall health and longevity, quality of life, crushing the patriarchy etc. There is one thing that I do not like, Sam-I-am, and that is injury, especially a nagging, chronic, endless vexing type. The flavour of this season is bicep tendonitis. It’s been building for some time and I do believe it started with my 30 day yoga journey with my best virtual friend, Adriene. It’s not all flow but there is a lot of that sort of thing and I was really trying to increase my skill and my capacity to do more than 4 push-ups. Unfortunately, my bicep tendon was having none of it.
So, here I am, injured, in pain, prone to keep trying, then making it worse, then backing off and doing nothing and getting depressed and unmotivated and stiff and sad. It’s a cycle I endure over and over and sometimes it feels like it overshadows my gains.
I know that isn’t true.
I am doing my best to care for it, getting to the root of the problem maybe with my new chiropractor is a big part of it (my beloved osteopath is still not allowed to work in Ontario because of the way our pandemic rules are). He’s a beefy guy who likes to stick needles in me and zap them with electricity. I’m up for that sort of torture because I’m at my wits end with this baloney.
I think that I’m extra distressed this time because I feel the precious nature of my strength, balance and mobility more keenly with every passing year. When I was 40 and I injured my knee running, it didn’t feel like a big deal, I would just back off and it would heal and that would be that. But this year, perhaps because of the acute sense of fragility in the world, I’m just feeling defeated and a little scared. If I can’t do a downward dog any more, what does that mean about me? What if I can’t portage a canoe? Or wait, not even that, how will I paddle? All these things that are so precious, I know they will eventually slip away, but not yet damn it! It feels weirdly close right now, the end. It seems that bicep tendonitis has triggered a bit of an encounter with the existential givens.
Tell me it will be okay. I think everyone needs a little of that right now.