Sometimes, the mundane is the most dangerous…

Two weeks ago, I sprained a muscle in my back. It was so painful that I could barely make it back up the stairs into the house, and I could not lower myself to the floor. Collapsing onto the couch instead, I felt my hip flexor and abdominal muscles starting to spasm. I started to panic, thinking about the potential damage and recovery time I was facing.

When would I be able to run again? How would I take the dogs out? What if I had to miss more than a day of work? I began to rant against myself for the idiocy of what I had just done.

2011_3_24-MOMA-potatoes_rect540
Photo by Anna and Berhard Johannes Blume
Kückenkoller (Kitchen Frenzy).

Of course, none of this helped my recovery (just the opposite, obviously). What did help? A deep tissue Thai massage, rest, and a lot of ice. After a week, I was sore but not gimping around anymore.

Maybe you are wondering what I did? Lift too much weight at the gym? Run too fast down a mountain trail? Thrash around on a really hard climb for way too long? No. No, I attempted to dead-lift two (bound together) winter tires with one hand. In heels, and work clothes.

I know, stupid, right? Everything about what I tried to do was wrong, and I paid for it. I was in a hurry, late for work, and just wanted to move the tires out of the way.

Obviously, I was not thinking. But this sort of everyday activity is the kind of thing I do all the time. In a hurry. Without thinking. There is just so much to do, I am so busy with all my everyday responsibilities. And this time, it all caught up with me.

Which started me thinking again about being mindful, intentional, and all that stuff that some yoga teachers talk about. I was not being mindful as I lifted those tires. I would not ever in my right mind try to do anything like what I did; I know better. And when I am doing something that I know is challenging or dangerous, I pay attention to what I am doing, how I am doing it. I plan ahead. I take it seriously. I think this is why I can hurl myself down a technical mountain trail without hurting myself, but I twist my ankle stepping off a curb.

So what I learned here is that I can’t take everyday chores for granted. There was a little bit of hubris in the way I tackled those tires. I may be strong and fit, but I am not THAT strong.

It could have been worse—mindlessness can be just as dangerous as overtraining. So, the last few weeks have been a painful reminder that I really do have to be careful in the mundane tasks of everyday life. Something to think about as we all tackle our new year resolutions. Be safe out there!

Christina is an awesome trail runner, climber, and dancer as well
as having a docorate in International Relations and two ridgebacks she runs with.
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