Aging well takes work and conscious effort. I teach in all of my yoga classes that aging well is my main concern and I exercise not to have an impressive practice but to be able to wipe my butt at ninety. While I spend most days working on this goal in a smart way there are other days when I still think I am a teenager and do silly things.
Friday was one of those days. Since I think I am aging well, I also think I can do anything. We are currently at World Fellowship Center (Where Social Justice Meet Nature) in New Hampshire where my children run freely outdoors and I teach a little yoga and walking. We have been coming here for a number of years and it has been a truly amazing experience.
Yesterday my son Reggie, who is five and I were at the playground goofing around. As much as I love yoga I think the body needs to move in many dynamic ways to get into the aging well groove. To that end I rollerblade, take the occasional kick boxing class and walk many thousands of steps daily.
There are other movement practices that I tend to watch on video rather than participate. I am really into (watching) parkour, or free running, and of late I have been checking out the MovNat training system that encourages full body exercise, often outdoors using nature as your props.
It seems to me that MovNat and aging well go together until I get involved in the game. So back to the playground—we were just fooling around and I started using the area to come up with different exercises. Walking back and forth on the see-saw was an easy one, using some fallen tree as a balance beam also went well.
Then I saw the Adirondack chairs in the picture above except that they weren’t a broken mess before I got to them.
Hopping up onto the arm of the first chair was smooth and easy. Walking across the first two arms wasn’t a problem either. Unfortunately the second chair didn’t care about the game I was playing and failed to have the same stability as a fallen log. When the inside arm gave way I fell backwards slamming, and I do mean hard, my back into the arm of the chair. I knew right away that this might be serious.
I got up immediately and I could see that my son Reggie was a bit shaken by what he had just seen. I tried walking but it didn’t go well so I bent over for a breath. Nothing felt right. We left the playground area and my wife was luckily close at hand. Together we walked over to the yoga room that I teach in, so I could do Constructive Rest Position, the essential pose I teach to anyone who has suffered trauma, and I was definitely in that category.
There was no real bruise on my back but it felt like the muscles on the right side had shut down and I had a fierce burning/ripping sensation just above my pelvis. I lay in Constructive Rest Position for about a half an hour and my wife went and got me some Advil. Sitting and standing up to take them made me light headed and I began to sweat profusely. I sat on a chair, said “I have never felt this way before”, and promptly passed out. My poor wife—my tongue fell out and my head lolled back and it took about ten seconds for me to come to.
Holy Trauma, Batman! I was living the life I teach. And it was no fun. I hobbled back to our room and did a version of CRP that accommodates shock for about three hours. I also slathered my back with arnica that a guest was nice enough to share with me.
Aging well and crashing onto your lower back are not compatible and I was feeling the full effects of that concept. For the rest of the day, sitting down and standing up were accompanied by nausea and the burning/ripping feeling. Today I am left with the burning/ripping and an occasional muscle spasm.
I am about 70% better this morning which strikes me as somewhat miraculous considering that I thought it was a pretty severe event when it happened. It feels to me like I ripped the tendon of the quadratus lumborum but I have no clue. An appointment with my chiropractor this afternoon will hopefully shed light on my diagnoses and get me back on the aging well express.
Maybe it is time to stop playing like a teenager or maybe not. I will heal first before I make that decision.