Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pain: Validated

Nice Watch Eh?

I've said before, I might have an unhealthy relationship with pain. I may be jealous of how my parents talked about my little sister after she had several serious injuries as a little kid. I may be trying to prove something because I was often picked last or near the end for games growing up. Perhaps it has something to do with never seriously playing contact sports, and wanting to show I can handle pain, who knows.

Breaking a bone is really the best injury, it shows up clearly on the x-Ray. It is an excuse to not do things, a reason to not be perfect. It validates the feelings of pain that I have from the injury. It allows me to relax, to just be me, with no expectations for myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, and the world tells me consistently how much of a failure I am. Church tells me I am a sinner. At work, the work is never done. Regardless of the workouts I do, they never seem to be the right ones. 
Pretty Clear: Broken
I feel like a failure so often, but with nothing to prove my failure. I know that feelings are not fact, but they are my experience, so they do matter to me. A broken bone is proof of failure, and like I said above, it allows me to relax and accept myself as imperfect. That can be really hard. I've said it before, I feel I have the best life in the world, and I hope you feel the same way about your life, but with that statement comes the unspoken obligation to be the best I can be, superhuman, and I am certainly not superhuman.

For the record I broke it trying to get on my bicycle. Saturday I did my first triathlon because running training has been underwhelming and I needed some excitement. I finished the 200 yard swim and went through the transition area. It rained the night before and there was maybe a little gravel on the road, as I sat on my bike I had this strange thought, 'it feels higher than normal' despite the fact I haven't changed the seat height in a year. As I was struggling to get my feet in the pedals I was also trying to take a left turn, at all of 3 miles per hour, and I fell over on my left side. I probably fall off the bike once or twice a year, it's never been a big deal, but now that I'm over the hill at age 30 I suppose I have to more careful. As I went to pick up my 15 pound bike my left hand didn't seem to be working. It hurt. I finally got my chain put back on, did the 10k bike, and 2k run, changing shoes with one hand, and I think I won the race but I left before the awards.
Woohoo Selfie!
I went to urgent care and they wrapped me up and took x-rays. I refused pain medication because I need to know if I do something stupid and hurt myself. Already I have learned it is somewhat harder to do thing with one hand. Try getting dressed, tying your shoes, taking milk out of the fridge, opening a car door or using the turn signal, not to mention washing your hand, or drying off after a shower. The pain isn't too bad, I ran six hours in the last 36 hours, and most of the time it was almost insignificant.

I take comfort in my proof of the pain and in a number of Bible verses. As Elihu said, "But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction." Or as Paul wrote, "...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Hope is motivation. It is what we are running toward, and if suffering increases my hope, bring it on!

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