Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What you don't know can, in fact, hurt you very badly

Before last week, I didn’t even know I had a quadratus lumborum. Now, I am acutely aware. In fact, I have assembled a team of experts who are also acutely aware and working to stop it from rebelling against the rest of my body.

So, that’s the diagnosis. A large muscle that stretches from my spine to my pelvis is tightened and possibly spasming. It causes an intense pain with each fall of my left foot. Until today, I found myself in a familiar place. The pool. Sunday, I aquajogged for 90 minutes. Ask me how that went. I was beginning to get used to and maybe even enjoy the smell of chlorine pouring from my skin.

Monday and today, I started off my mornings with a fairly vigorous swim. As I climbed out of the pool this morning, a thought popped in to my head. “What if this is making it worse?” I thought about all the twisting one does while swimming. Then, I debated internally over whether to share this bit of knowledge with the PT that is treating me. I did, and his answer was both what I expected and what I feared. He told me to shut it down. No exercising until the pain goes away. None. I am going to live how the other 90% of America lives for a while; inactively. I don’t remember the last time I went two weeks without exercising. It’s been at least 10 years. At least. I thought my eight weeks of no running were bad. This is a new kind of death sentence.

In hindsight, this is probably my fault. When I started running after my stress fracture, my hamstring and glutes were both tight. When the tightness went away, maintenance went by the wayside. Little did I know, the pain only went away because that trusty old QL stepped in to carry the load. It held on, God bless it, for dear life until one night, five miles into a run, it didn’t want to work that hard anymore. Now, it needs a little TLC. What it is going to get is a LOT of TLC. There’s already been massage, active release, physical therapy and tomorrow, acupuncture. I’m going to kill it with kindness.

Before anyone has a chance to think it, I know how to put things in perspective. I don’t have terminal cancer. I haven’t lost a loved one. People are dealing with much worse decks. But our personal tragedies are relative to who and where we are in life and this is a big one for me. I am grateful for all the things I have going, and am not asking for an “it could be worse” line. Of course it could be.

Fortunately, there is more to life than running and I am not talking about cycling and swimming. In the midst of all this self-pity wallowing, extended time in water, painful poking and prodding and needles sticking from my body, there’s been some interesting news.

Lauren got into General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. She was stunned. While I was VERY EXCITED, I was not stunned because I knew all along that she would be accepted. I was only surprised that they didn’t drive down to North Carolina and demand she come this instant. Of course, the natural follow up question is, “Will you also be moving to New York?” The answer is “yes.” I just won’t be moving there as soon as Lauren. She starts school in August, and I am contractually bound to Charlotte until the end of March. We’ll be doing the long distance thing for a while, including two months after our wedding on December 31st. And of course, I have to find a job.

In other wedding news, a lot of the planning is done. When you have a wedding on New Year’s Eve, you have to get all your ducks lined up early. I can tell you that our wedding party consists of Aaron Linz, Richard Austin, Stephen and Pierce Robbins, Sloan Crawford, Caitlin Chrisman, my sister Julie and Erin Donovan. I know my ushers are Paul Mainwaring, Jesse Contario, Peter Chambers and Nathan Thomas. The rehearsal dinner will be held at Providence Café. The guest hotel is the Hampton Inn & Suites at Phillips Place in South Park. We are still trying to nail down the official time of the ceremony, but we’re almost there. We’re still hammering out the guest list, but it will be limited to keep costs down.

I’ve been meaning to write that book recap, but I fear this post is already far too long. Instead, I’ll end with a quote that’s gotten me through my slump.

“Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my saber.”
 Charlie Sheen


  1. Favorite line of this entire blog (aside from the obvious Crazy Sheen quote): "our personal tragedies are relative to who and where we are in life and this is a big one for me."

  2. thanks. I was hoping people wouldn't take that graph the wrong way.

  3. I can't imagine they would. Anyone that knows you enough to read your blog (or stumbles on it without knowing you) should be able to pick up that running is a major part of your life.

  4. Thanks for the heads up, Jay. We will have to get a few runs in before you move to your New York life style.