My back ached. It could have been the 2-5 gallon buckets of soil that I lugged around the parking lot at the plant sale last weekend. It could have been the hole I dug in the front yard to uproot an invasive holly tree. It could even have been the hours at work bent over a row of glass beakers filled with tincture. It could have been the fact that I have “tall chick posture”.
“Tall chick posture” is a symptom of having a lot of short friends. Most chicks are more social that dudes. Chicks tend to cluster in tight groups. The tall chick can either step back a pace to maintain eye contact with her friends or stoop. I usually opt for stooping since my friends are a little pushy and every time I gain distance, they close in tighter.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming my friends for my bad posture. It’s my back. I choose to walk around like a giant question mark. I even stoop when I am with tall people. I am just saying that my tendency to surround myself with women under 5″5′ if bad for my back.
Usually, I take a hot shower, drink lots of tincture, do a few stretches and wallow in bed hoping that my husband will take pity on me and give me a massage … and dinner on a tray … and a stiff drink. In a few days, I am back to stooping and lifting heavy things just like nothing happened.
This time, as I hobbled out to the beer fridge in the garage, I noticed how shaggy our remaining lawn fragment was looking. Most of our yard has been converted to garden beds. My husband, the lawn guy, has managed to save a little square of even green grass from the ravages of my shovel. Today that emerald square looks like Oscar the Grouch’s back end.
“Some one should mow that thing,” I think, rubbing my back. Then the idea hits. One of the stretches that my massage therapist recommended involved some of the same moves that I use when mowing the lawn.
I abandon the beer fridge and grab our old-fashioned push mower. The first few pushes through the grass are painful. I hit an unruly clump by the chicken coop and seize up briefly. Fortunately, I have more determination than common sense. I keep at it.
By the end of the chore, the muscles in my back are burning. I relish the feeling. It has replaced the cramped, knotted feeling that I was suffering through just an hour ago.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t take a hot shower and drink my tinctures. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t be found upstairs under a quilt after dinner. It just means that the stretching was a success. Now that my husband’s patch of lawn is mowed into a tidy square, I have an even better chance of getting a massage … and a stiff drink.