I’ve hurt my back many times, but this one was medal-worthy.
Note: This is a story from Oct 22, 2020, which I posted on Medium instead of here. I’m correcting that mistake now.
Have you ever completely forgotten your own limitations? Maybe you’ve drunk far more alcohol than your body can handle, or even jumped in a pool when you can’t swim.
Due to overzealous weightlifting and long-distance running, my L4 and L5 vertebrae are much closer than they used to be, and are a constant cause of spinal disc problems. So I really shouldn’t be competing in a long-jump contest with a bunch of 5-year-olds.
But that’s where I found myself last week, on my 45th birthday no less, lining up to leap two meters from a standing start, both feet together. I knew the kids would be so impressed as I jumped beyond the 150cm marked onto the corridor floor.
“Crunch!” I could feel by disc explode as I planted my feet and landed in a deep squat. Disc tissue blasted into every inch of my lower back, stabbing into the nerves that reach out to my toes and fingers.
I managed to get up, and feebly smile to the kids, “I did it! Yaaay…”
It’s been a little over a week and I’m finally recovering. Mornings are still a struggle, but I can go without painkillers and a walking stick now.
But getting old is something your body does. In our hearts, we still want to be kids, and I’m positive that next time I’m invited to forget my limits, I’ll do it all over again.If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!