Painful Options

August 2, 2015 by Rieshy

If it hurts, don't do it.

Unless you have arthritis.

With arthritis often the less you do the more you hurt. I tried the less.  I avoided shaking hands with people, avoided using my arms.  I lost grip strength, the pain worsened and I felt old and decrepit; my brain began to decay and crumble like dried up school glue.

Now, I'm doing the more; it's been years since my last significant flare up.  This flare up I don't feel old and decrepit... mostly.  Sometimes when my hands or feet hurt, when I've woken in the night multiple times with my shoulders throbbing, on days when I can't quite make a proper fist, I know that hitting or kicking a punching bag is going to hurt like blue blazes or like screaming flying monkeys but afterwards I'll be able to move more easily.  My ankles often hurt more before my runs than after.  Counter-intuitive: if it hurts do it.

Sometimes my elbows ache, a background sort of ache but I do pushups anyway.  Girly sort of pushups but it's the motion that counts.  After I hyperextended my elbow this spring I didn't realize how badly I had mangled my arm.  I kept doing pushup and pull-up practice, it was the motion that counted- this time against me, making my injury take much longer to heal.

I'd rather do and hurt, than not do and still hurt   I'd even rather do and mistakenly injure than not do and still hurt and grow weaker.

I'd really rather my options were a bit more varied, but actually I feel quite blessed.  My pain keeps me moving and though it is sometimes a treacherous-tutor it does keep me motivated.


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