Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I woke up this morning to deep protestations in two areas of my body; the left shoulder and the left lower gluteus maximus (yes, I pulled a butt muscle). The shoulder is the result of either hyperenthusiasm or an overblown ego. The butt stems from encountering a new piece of equipment in the gym yesterday. I share these things because they really lead me to some introspection that might sound familiar to some people.
Growing up in my family, my parents used the "get a bigger hammer/more is better" theory to solve percieved problems. The range of these problems ran the gamut from child punishment to construction projects to business dealings. While this made for a horrific childhood (of which I will not bore you with the details), it also explains the basis for the injuries I outlined above.
Given that I have an educated mind (a Master's Degree with 30+ years of teaching and consulting experience) with numerous years of helping others solve problems successfully, one would automatically assume that I would apply the same logic and simplicity to my own world. Not so much...
I still fall victim (though not nearly as often as I used to) to the voice in my head that says I am stupid, lazy, and useless, which causes a very defensive counter-reaction steeped in the "get a bigger hammer/more is better" theory. That is how I injured my shoulder. I was using an arm curl machine at a different branch of the Y than I am used to. This particular machine was on a different angle and required a different stance to operate. Failing to take that into account, I set the machine at my normal settings and approached the task at the new (read odd) angle and was unable to lift the bar. Stunned, I tried again putting a little more oomph into it. Same result... Now frustrated (and a little embarassed that I was unable to lift such a "pittance" (35 lbs), I gave it another shot, this time putting all my effort into trying to lift the wee beastie. I was a deep breath and 2 grunts into the task, and lifted the handle about 2 inches when my left shoulder popped, the air turned extremely hot, and the weight bar slipped out of my hand. I knew immediately that I had done something unwise.
That was last week (Thursday evening). I am still learning from the "flawed thinking" vestage if my childhood and will now have to give my shoulder a distinct period of rest to let it heal. I have to be okay with that and allow myself to just "be" with the shoulder and allow it (and myself) the gift of time (and probably a doctor visit or two).
What have I learned from this? Multiple lessons, actually. 1. Be kind to myself and not let the old thinking outweigh common sense. 2. If something is not working, brute force is usually not the answer. 3. Never assume that because something has the same name that it is exactly the same thing. And 4. listen to my body when something isn't working and move on to something else until you can get advice from an expert how to do it better.
Tomorrow is another day...