I have a real pain in my butt.
No, seriously. I do. A real, legitimate, occasionally searing pain in my left butt cheek.
The pain got so bad a few nights ago that I was forced to go to the emergency room (see picture above).
Fortunately, the kind folks in the E.R. were nice enough to laugh at my barely coherent jokes and hook me up with some meds that helped me get through the rather hellish 48-72 hours that ensued.
Now that I am on the other side of the worst of this ordeal, I can take a break from muscle relaxers and enjoy a few non-clouded thoughts … and reflect on these past few days and the difficult 3-6 months of rehab that lay ahead.
And I have to say: I’m actually glad this has happened.
Bad habits = bad results
Turns out, I herniated a disc in my back last weekend. I’m still not quite sure how I did this. Maybe you turn 33, as I did last Monday, and everything really does just falling apart?
Eh. I don’t buy that.
I mean, yes, getting older makes your body more likely to break down. But while a herniated disc can happen to nearly anyone of any age at any time, it goes without saying that good habits — namely, exercising right (including proper stretching and core work) and eating right — decrease your odds of it happening.
Well, my habits in those two areas haven’t been as good over the past year as they were over the previous years. So rather than blame age, or random chance, or anything else that might absolve myself of responsibility for the current state of my left buttock and the associated disc in my back, I am instead choosing to be grateful for what I view as a much-needed wake-up call.
Father Time always wins
Is there any force more humbling that Father Time? Few, if any.
Clearly, it’s time to humble myself to the fact that I’m 33, which means my habits carry even more consequence now when it comes to my health and well-being.
Thus, I need to take pride in improving my habits, and getting back to making positive wellness choices each day.
Doing so won’t prevent all future injuries and illnesses, but it sure will put me in a better position to avoid them and recover from them when they do occur.
Stop waiting for wake-up calls (if you can)
Here is the funny thing about this wake-up call: deep inside, I’ve been waiting for it.
By that I mean: I’ve known that I need to alter my eating and exercise habits for a while now, and I’ve even paid it lip service, but I haven’t actually done it. Not consistently.
And now I’m paying the price.
I wish I didn’t need wake-up calls this severe to point me or re-point me down a right track, but sometimes I do. My guess is sometimes you do too. It’s human nature.
So here is my question: are you waiting for any wake-up calls?
Deep down, do you know that you should start or stop a particular habit … yet you just can’t quite find the right catalyst or motivation to do so?
What is it?
Try explaining in the comment section. Perhaps by stating it out loud, it will help to make it real and commit you to taking the first step or two on the right path.
Because let me tell you … while I’m able to see the silver lining in this particular pain-in-the-butt cloud, I sure wish I’d acted on these thoughts a while back. Maybe I’d have prevented my current predicament from happening.
So I share my recent story in the hope that, maybe, it gives you a little nudge in the right direction.
Even if it doesn’t, and if you have to pay a similar price down the line for a negative habit you choose not to change today, I hope to at least encourage you to view that event as a positive — as a wake-up call for a better tomorrow.
Because it will be whatever you make of it.