Thursday, January 29, 2009


I feel about 80 ... no ... about 73 years old. Specifically, I feel like my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

The past few weeks, I've been taking advantage of our county employee fitness program. Different classes each night Monday through Thursday. It's been wonderful and I sat in glee last night after realizing just how tight my thighs are becoming. GLEE!

You know that glee you feel when something you've been working hard on begins to show progress. That "Oh yeah, that's right, uh huh" feeling.


The progress hasn't been pain free. Obviously, when you're working out and building and rebuilding muscles, there's some soreness involved. My lower back aches now and then ... it bothered me last night and during the day today. Annoying but no biggie. I thought I'd attend kickboxing tonight but perhaps take it easy on any of the moves that might put extra strain on my lower back. Often, if I have a sore muscle, a bit of exercise loosens it up, makes it feel better.


So, at roughly 4:50 p.m., I dutifully changed into my workout clothes in my office. My last step was to raise up my left leg to put on a sock.

How dare I do such a thing!

Such a simple, every day, BASIC movement. I lifted my leg and, for the first time in my life, actually bellowed in pain and nearly dropped to the floor. In that span of 5 seconds, I went from someone gleeful about tighter thighs ... to my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems. At least that was my immediate and likely (hopefully) exaggerated reaction to the pain.

Of course, it didn't help that clearing the snow off my car as I left work brought me to tears.

It didn't help that I had to slowly lower myself into my car with my hands behind my back then use my right arm to pull my left leg inside ... kinda like my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

It also didn't help that 30 minutes later I was flat on my back on the floor of my apartment with frozen peaches under my back ... at the advice of my 73-year-old aunt with chronic back problems.

According to Dr. Peter F. Ullrich ... Jr. ... lower back pain is one of the most common conditions and reasons for office visits ... and four out of five adults will experience it at some point in their lives. Well, okay ... I suppose that makes me feel less pitiful. At least I'm not by any means alone. But ... the estimate that 90% of patients with such pain will no identifiable reason, i.e., "here, let me actually FIX that for you," is just annoying. It reminds me of going to the doctor and having the amazing diagnosis of stress.

If in doubt, stress caused it.

If the words, "it's likely stress," come out of any professional's mouth tomorrow, I will cause physical harm to another.


Meanwhile, I have some peaches to eat.


  1. Update: Several 800 mg motrins and a trip to the blessed Dr. Matt later and I'm feeling 90% better.

    Getting old suuuuuuucks.

  2. We're older that's true, BUT the pain you feel is absolutely normal. That happens to everyone. It doesn't matter your age. You just have to keep on doing exercise and ignore the pain.

    If it is of any consolation, I'm going back to the gym this Tuesday... Not that I'm looking forward to it, though...