10.07.2013

reflecting on back pain...

So here I am, in bed, sans coffee.  It's 10:45 am and it's Tuesday- Hump Day here in the Middle East.  Tuesday is normally not a teaching day anyway, but instead a work in office, or home office day.  I do have about 60 homework assignments to grade by the way... I should have 100, but you know how students can be... So, lack of turning in homework on time provides me a break is looking at the situation as the cup is half full... So I shall.

Now, I was up earlier.  I made my smoothie: today's healthful delight consisted of chia seeds, super blue-green algae, calcium powder from sea veggies, brazil nuts, organic shredded coconut, flax seeds, pomegranate juice, yogurt  and bananas. I must say that I make a damn good smoothie...

I posted pictures of this past weekends shenanigans.  If this is any indication to come of my time spent here in Bahrain, it's going to be a fantastic voyage!  The one downer is that I did manage to hit a soft spot while kayaking on Saturday morning and experience some back issues.  I haven't had back pain for over two years so... Anyway, I remember it all too well.  It's true what they say, "muscles have memory", especially damaged muscles...

It could have been worse honestly.  I still managed to work all week so far.  I will still manage to correct 60 homework assignments today.  I will still manage to work the next 2 days.  Why?  Well, first, the pain isn't enough to put me out. Second, I was raised by a father who taught me discipline. I was taught to take it.  To take whatever life gives me, and try to do it with as much grace as possible.  I was taught that if I wanted happiness, I would take it.  It doesn't just appear.  Now, dad didn't express these words to me, it was a silent coaching.  Something I didn't understand until years later when I already left the 'rents den and went out exploring into the world at the ripe age of 17. 

So this walk down memory lane reminds me of my father. Yes, I'm in some pain.  Yes I'm bummed that I can't run at this week's Bahrain Road Runner's event (but I'll still go and talk their ears off to find out where I can find; an acupuncturist, a masseuse, a chiropractor, etc). Yes, I'm bummed that I can't participate in this weekend's Ritz Carlton Aquathon (600 meter swim/6km road race), but I'll still go and bathe in the excitement of the participants and gleen off some of their energy (did that sound okay?) But, I will swim today at the pool at my apartment complex to loosen up my back.  I will swim tomorrow night with the BRR members that go to the Hamala Beach Resort. I will persevere.

Why, because I'm addicted to feeling well.  I'm addicted to challenging my body.  I'm addicted to see improvements in my body's recovery. I'm addicted to the adrenalin that I feel when I accomplish a physical task. It's interesting, I just read from a new blog that I started following. This person shared an article about, and endorsed, how any company should always value hiring an athlete (not a professional athlete).  Why? I believe that it is due to personal discipline.  Anybody, of course, can set personal goals for themselves, as well as professional goals.  People who are athletic tend to reach those personal goals, and create/obtain more. I think... Anyway, I believe it too.  And I have a story to express it.

I have an angel here in Bahrain. She lives amongst the stars. Agent Starlight, as I affectionately call her, noticed my suffering the past 2 days.  She offered to go to the eczane (pharmacy) to get some stuff for me.  She could see in my eyes that I was hurting, but was persevering.  She obviously noticed how difficult it was for me to be sitting down (standing up is no problem). and to get up after sitting down for a while. I told her that after work I'm just too exhausted to, first look for a pharmacy, and then to drive to it. So I just go home and rest and take some aspirin.  So she volunteered to go to the pharmacy yesterday evening and drop off some stuff to me afterwards.

I was so taken by her generosity. I mean, it is sometimes difficult to accept help. I knew I needed it though and had to suck it up.  I graciously accepted.  Now, perhaps anybody would do this- and I believe truly that many would, even with/without me asking for help.  Agent Starlight is an athlete.  She is an avid swimmer.  She knows her body needs to exercise.  She knows I know my body needs to exercise.  We both know we need to nurture our bodies.  She was willing to give up a swim session to help me nurture my body.

So this reminds me of the article I read from the blog.  It made me smile.  As well, living in a foreign country can sometimes be overwhelming.  Doing a simple task like going to the pharmacy can seem daunting at times. You can become weary maybe just doing a task that in your own country would require no extra effort.  Lieutenant L (LL) has been very gracious in this was as well.  LL was having a dinner party that I was to attend.  I was to cook some food as well.  On Sunday after work I came to LL's apartment holding the bag of couscous.  I said that I couldn't attend as my back was killing me.  LL was so cool & insisted that they would bring food- appetizers AND dinner- to my apartment and check in on me.  That LL did, and boy was I grateful.  You know, I had food I could have made (oatmeal, cereal, etc), but it felt great having a hot meal- chicken, prawns, veggie appetizers with dip, fresh garden salad, etc. 

So I'm feeling grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful peeps.  Since I stepped foot in Bahrain, I have felt really good- even with my achy back.  As I look back, I had this same kind of community in Turkey, and in Tunisia as well.  It is this sort of 'expat code' that you experience, as well as the locals that you mingle with. It makes me realize that home can be anywhere.  It's all about the community that you create for yourself.  I have no family here in Bahrain, but I got phamily here in Bahrain! I might not be able to run this week, but I can walk!  And I can certainly go to the A`ali walking track tonight and walk with all the walkers there and watch the runners and secretly envy (little bit) them while healing my body.

Now, to pull myself off of this bed and jump into (gently pull myself down into) the pool for some aqua therapy.  Oh man I'm fantasizing about going for a run. If I'm a really good girl, I think I can run next week in UAE/Oman...