After 2 days of warehouse work, moving boxes and shrink-wrapping pallets or heavy abuse to my body, I needed a float session. It’s been over 2 months. The tragedy of life is that you can abuse many parts of your body and mind, and usually they’ll snap back into order, except your spine. Your spine is the foundation for all activities, to be considered “spineless” is a sin, yet how do we go about repairing our spines?
Preventing irreparable damage is about stopping abuses at crucial moments.
Midway through a shrinkwrap pass, during the second of three pallets that needed to go out that day, I suddenly remembered myself. I remembered that I was there to work, mainly as a favor, and also for some writing fodder or life experience. I wasn’t there to kill my back, so I recalibrated myself, and slowed down slightly.
We still did the work under the allotted time and I didn’t nuke my back.
The next day as I floated in epsom salt, disengaged with reality and focused on erasing any physiological damage I’d done to myself, I began thinking about how it’s not just about physical work. I had a warehouse manager get in my face about a process I was told to do. I was unphased. “I was told to do it this way.”
I wasn’t spineless though it was a force to the spine, like shrink-wrapping.
I remained brave during that apex of stress because while yielding would be fine, proceeding would lead to a greater understanding of reality. I later remembered the full totality of the situation. That manager was fine. “He acts like that, it’s just how he is.” Any guilt faded and I developed more of a backbone.
In future situations, I won’t be as ready to yield at any sign of stress.
Floating there, thinking over the events and slowly rocking my lower back in a circular motion to recalibrate it back to normal, I thought about how these moments are how we grow. You face your fears head-on with the vitality of knowing that you either win or you learn and if you can meet the force with a solid backbone.
Unless of course, you realize the force is too great for you.
The spine isn’t a solid rod because there are times when you must lose. You must get defeated, encounter embarrassment, or in other ways be flexible to vulnerability. Don’t let those times weigh on you too much. There are times you should yield. You will be wrong, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll hurt others.
When you aren’t in one of those situations, use your backbone.
You can always recover later. If it was for something worth fighting for, whether it be your self-confidence or self-worth, get out there and fight for it. You can always relax after it’s done. When you push yourself to your limits, you can see how you can improve.
My back is fine.
Years ago, those tribulations might have broke me.