Alive? Alive!

“Hey Christina – You’ve been quiet of late, is YAHOO! burying you alive?” Over a year ago, I […]

“Hey Christina – You’ve been quiet of late, is YAHOO! burying you alive?”

Over a year ago, I hurt my back. I don’t know if it was something I pulled, or if it was easy to pull something because of the crazy hours I was working on the new Yahoo! search, but I went down like a ton of bricks. Pain killers, unable to move, ice, heat, physical therapy and so on. The thing is, I never really got better. I spent thanksgiving flat on my back with my grandfather, his heating pad and his scotch to help me through it. I spent several other holiday days flat on my back as well.

I never knew what would set it off. One day I went for a bike ride, the next day I was staring at the ceiling all day. Went to the grocery store one day for ice, spent the floor with ice on my back the next. Sleep wrong, get out of the car wrong, work at the computer a few hours too long… and I’m back on the floor. I’ve been living my life on a funny edge for a long time, never knowing what would have me back on the floor.

Well, I may be slow to get an idea through my head, but I’m not hopeless. I started doing the stretches (finally) my physical therapist taught me every single night. it seemed to help. I noticed they were rather like yoga stretches. So I added a couple more stretches from a yoga book, and that went well. I could sit longer, walk better… so I started adding a few more yoga moves. If anything felt uncomfortable, I didn’t do it. Later, as I grew stronger, I tried the harder positions once more and found I could do them.

In the last month I’ve been doing yoga twice a day, both for one to one and a half hours each time. This is a huge amount of my waking time; time I usually spent writing on the blog, or for B&A or reading… but you know, I can’t really regret it.

I can touch my toes. My downward dog is just beautiful. I enjoy saluting the sun. I kayaked last weekend. I rode my bike to work and back (16 miles) for the first time since the injury, and I felt great.

I feel in my body. And my body feels like a good place to be again. And everyday it’s a bit better.

So excuse me if I am not blogging much these days. I’m under repair.


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  1. 4
    Derek R

    One’s back is a funny thing. There isn’t a doctor or therapist alive who knows how to treat it, in that there is no bona-fide treatment for backs. The reason this is so is because your back corresponds with every other part of your body. It is not isolated like an appendage or any other part of your body. In essence, your back is your body.

    So, when you experience back pain, or otherwise have ‘problems’ with your back, you are typically experiencing a holistic problem. It is a problem which is inherent to whole yourself — your whole way of physically existing. Following from this, to correct back pain or immobility requires holistic treatments, like yoga, but more importantly nothing gimmickry or ‘take-a-pill-and-forget-it’ type isolated/partial treatments. It requires commitment to your whole self as genuinely existing — a commitment which is a daily recognition (routine/sacredness). A lack of synchronicity is its own monkey-wrench thrown-in, so that only by taking account of and responsibility for your entire person can you correct back problems. To heal one’s back is to heal one’s whole physical self.

    So, I am glad you are feeling more robust and alive Christina and I congratulate you on dealing with the whole problem and not looking towards ‘parts.’

  2. 6

    Thanks for the note as some of us have been growing concerned, but healing and taking steps toward better health a great step that is well understood. Take care.

  3. 7

    Lately (last few months or so), I’ve been trying to spend less time doing “work” stuff and more time doing “non-work” stuff. Not just getting offline, but not reading work-related books, going to prof org meetings, etc.

    Instead, I’ve been getting outside more, watching movies, sleeping, learning different things.

    Thirty years from now, you won’t be mad at yourself if you didn’t blog as much as you want, but you will be mad at yourself if you spent too much time in front of the computer and messed up your back permanently, or missed out on fun things because you were reading too many “work” books.

    I love what I do “for a living”, but I care more about what I do “in my life.”

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