Well, if you’re wondering what I’ve been doing, it’s simple – my back is back. Ten years ago, when I was three years into a rocket ship new company, my back blew out in a huge way, and it took me months to get back. I was never the same again (goodbye, contact sports), but I did find yoga as a religion of sorts, and learned all sorts of things about what was important in life. Three years ago, I blew out another part of my back – C3-5, for those keeping score (goodbye, extreme skiing), but that setback was, in a way, a chance to learn even more.
Fast forward to now. Three years into another rocket ship (FM), my original back injury – L5 S1 blown disc, for those of you still keeping score – has returned with a bit of vengeance (see the MRI at left for those who are morbidly interested). I’m not exactly crippled, as I was last time, but it’s serious enough that I have to curtail any kind of work that is not entirely essential – at least for a while.
This time, it’s a bit more personal. I feel much more centered in my work, and I’ve been good to myself, so this setback gives me pause. Have I been holding too much on my own shoulders and not letting my team do more? Is it just part of getting old? Should I have taken the surgery route back in 1999? Just a few months ago, I was chopping cords of wood. Why is my back complaining now?
Well, it doesn’t matter. Every time your body throws you a mess of pain, it’s a time to reflect. Especially when it comes to your back, which I truly believe is the rosetta stone of the mind. Stop, breathe, be patient. It never, ever, hurts to do that. But as you might expect, my writing here might suffer a bit.