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3/23/2006

Flat on my back


Johnny and I are happy health nuts as of late. We re-vamped our diets to regularly include salad, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, protein, and all the while eating small meals every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar balanced. And, we are back in the gym strapped with iPods - neither of us can stomach the dreck our gym calls music. We both wake up around 8:00-8:30 am; Johnny sips a Diet Coke with Lime while I push the snooze button. As I stumble into the kitchen to brew coffee and make breakfast, Johnny bounces off to the gym for 2 hours. While he's gone I check my morning e-mail, sip coffee for dear life, read the Bible & pray, and read one of my books. THEN I head to the gym. Johnny has a stellar workout including dead lifts, bench presses, and a near-hour of cardio. My pathetic workout has included 30 minutes on the recumbent bike. Now, that is exercise, but not an ideal workout. I can't berate myself too much because I do have a valid reason for lacking in the fitness department. MY DUMB BACK. My problems began at the bookstore, probably from lifting boxes of books the wrong way, but also just from the day-to-day strain of lifting heavy books and standing on my feet for 8 hours at a time (and probably also from cute Chinese Mary Janes with no arch support). My back spasms returned yesterday. More than anything, they are annoying. I have slight pain, but I dread the spasms: not only does my back morph into Jell-O, but it seems to disappear for a few seconds, and I grasp whatever stable object is nearby. This morning I merely leaned over to prop our porch door open with a step-stool and wa-lah, I was a spasmod. I gripped the wall and said a prayer. I then microwaved The Original Bed Buddy, sat down, and placed it between my back and a pillow. I did every stretch I learned from a physical therapist, Dad the Coach, and Johnny, followed by 15 minutes of a painful, freaking cold ice pack.

As I leaned against the ice, I frowned realizing I'd probably be sitting in that spot all day. And I have, with the exception of valiant efforts to fold laundry and clean the kitchen which lasted about 5 minutes. In fact, all domestic plans to clean our bathroom, wash salad, wash light-colored laundry, cook sirloin on the George Foreman, and unload the dishwasher flew right out the porch door into the cold air. I thought, GREAT. What in the stupid heck am I supposed to do now? Then I smiled. Read! I'd already begun to fall in love with Mark Haddon's quirky book this morning, but I needed to get started on my assignment to read Margaret Becker's new book. Johnny gave me a kiss as he rushed out the door to teach drums, and I settled on the couch with a cup of Vanilla Hazelnut tea (a lovely Lenten grace as I'm fasting sweets), and began to read. I then said a grateful prayer, Lord, not only am I reading, but reading with a little financial benefit. Thank You; I'm a happy spazzer. Please run my tea cup over with book reviews. I read, took notes, stuck Post-It bookmarks with notes onto pages, and found myself enjoying the book which is a bonus - I know full well I may not always enjoy the book or CD to which I've been assigned.

Tomorrow, Coach Johnny will oversee my focus of Pilates & Yoga for strength and stretching, followed by the incorporation of light weights in a few days to strengthen my back further. Tonight I sit in strength of Psalms: God is my refuge and strength. I accept my injury and pray between pages, Change me into a better wife, woman, servant, writer - for You. One stretch I do is very Yoga-esque, though I don't know its proper title. I kneel, bend over to place my hands on the ground, then pull my shoulders back and mimic a Harley Cat-stretch. As I kneel hunched over, to the passer-by I would seem prostrate before a King. And I must say, while in that position, that is precisely how I feel. While counting 30 seconds to a minute, I lace the numbers with prayers while incense floats toward the ceiling. I pray to my Maker, I am still, you are God.

2 comments:

Christine said...

Jenni,

I'm so sorry about your back :( I'm glad you can see it as a grace so you have more time to read and be off your feet - funny the ways God uses to slow us down. And may I ask what Hazlenut tea you're drinking?

xoxo
Stine

Jenni said...

I just added a link to the tea in my entry - it's a Celestial Seasonings Dessert tea. I recommend adding Stevia and a little organic milk or half & half! The English Toffee flavor is really good, too.