Filed under "The Mental Game"
If only it were just my teeth I neglected.
I have this back injury due to a car accident, a dysfunctional sacroiliac joint to be precise, and it took me years of pain and ever-more-limited movement to finally get it sorted with the help of a phenomenol physiotherapist. It happened seven years ago, and I have only made progress on resolving the issue in the last year. Before the accident, I was a very fit runner. In fact, I was training for a marathon when the accident occurred. Today? I'm still battling to get back to where I was, but it took me six years of misery to even get here.
What in the name of all that is holy, is my point?
My point is, sometimes I'm a bit lax about taking care of myself. I've been throwing myself into my writing all year (all fifteen days of it), which is great, but I've gone a little overboard. I'm supposed to get in my 2 mile walk, some yoga, my physio exercises and strength training every day. I'm supposed to take a break from sitting in front of my computer every half hour.
At first I was vigilant, setting a timer on my computer to remind me to get up, walk a bit on the treadmill and stretch my upper body and arms. But, then there was the day I was so into my scene, I forgot to set the timer. A few days later and the timer was already a memory, and I've been working very long days.
My back began to ache, but I ignored it. Flash forward a week, and I was back in my PT's office, barely able to sleep because of the pain. You'd think I'd know better about office injuries. Remember the girl with tendinitis in both wrists?
It's all about moderation
My back was killing me, but I didn't get up and move. I wasn't listening to my body. It wasn't until I went to yoga class this morning that I got a clue. My teacher read a quote about having moderation in your life. Ah yes, then it hit me: my back being out-of-whack again was the symptom; I was being too extreme. I like extreme. Extreme is exhilarating, but it usually has some sort of repercussions you have to face up to.
Um...what does this have to do with writing?
We creative types can be a bit...obsessive, focused, determined, extreme, etc. But, we have to remember to take care of ourselves while following our passions. We can't let everything else fall apart because it will kill our creativity in the end.
I know it's not sexy. I've been seduced down the road to extreme too many times. What is less sexy than the word moderation? Extreme is a lacy black thong and moderation always seems so...granny pantie.
However, I've got to stop letting myself be seduced by the dark side. If my body falls apart, my mind follows and then where does that get me? Plus sixty pounds and depressed, that's where. Very difficult to write anything when you're back hurts so much you can't think and you're too depressed to get out of bed.
Time to check in with reality
I can't sit for hours on end, without a break, and expect to be able to walk when quittin' time rolls around. I know this. Plus, I've been wearing myself out with long days without breaks. I need to be more focused, get my work done earlier and take care of my body throughout the day. This means less time futzing around the forums and blogs (thanks JeffO for the reminder) and more regular breaks for activity and movement. Simple.
What about you? Anyone else out there go to extremes in pursuit of their passions (or just because it's Tuesday)? Have a good story to share? Leave a comment so I know I'm not the only crazy artist out there.
Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.