Make Sure You Listen To The Warning Signs

My little family has been very busy and also so very excited.  You see, four weeks ago Bec and I had a contract accepted on a beautiful six-acre avocado property up on the mountain.   The kids can’t wait to move.  Owen is adamant that half the shed is going to be his new workshop and the other half will house his science table.  Anyway, the contract was accepted on Friday morning. 

Friday night we decided that we had better start getting our house ready to put on the market.  I started by clearing out my shed under the house.  By late Friday night, I had a trailer load of stuff ready to take to the dump and a car full of other things to take to the bargain centre.  Saturday morning, I got up early and finished cleaning out the shed.  Then I went to the dump and unloaded everything I had decided to get rid of.  After that I used my pressure cleaner to clean up our three decks and then I mowed the lawn.  Saturday night I changed over our toilet cistern.

On Sunday, I got up early and dug up our vege garden.  Then I made my debut for the mighty over 40’s Tamborine Mountain Bushrats Cricket Team.  I spent the whole day running around after the little red ball and then came home and put the first coat of timber oil on the decks.  Monday morning before work I applied a second coat of oil to the decks and then spent the rest of the day helping fix other people’s bodies.  Monday night we moved around the furniture and decided we needed to declutter the house a little.

Tuesday morning, I loaded up the trailer with all the furniture that we had decided was superfluous to our needs and then headed off to work.  Before picking up the kids in the afternoon I unloaded the trailer full of furniture at our friend’s storage container and then went home and cooked dinner.  That night I did a final coat of oil on our top deck.

The next morning, I was unpacking the dishwasher as usual and I felt my back give a little twinge.  It had been getting a little stiffer since cricket, but hadn’t been sore.  As I bent down to finish off the dishwasher my back protested with a very painful and prolonged muscle spasm.  The pain caused me to take some Panadol, grab a hot pack and go lie down. 

I could have drawn two different conclusions from what happened to me.  I could have said that my back was giving out on me and I’m getting too old and unpacking the dishwasher was a terrible thing to be doing as that is what caused my back to spasm.  If my back “goes” just with unpacking the dishwasher, then how will I be able to cope with my job and everything else I do in life?  Alternatively, I could have looked at my past five days and realised that I had kind of been over doing things.  Of course, this is what I knew was the truth.  My back had been giving me warning signs like stiffness and a bit of an ache after oiling the deck.  The muscle spasm was quite simply my body’s way of saying “Enough is enough, if you continue like this, you are going to overload me and cause some serious damage.”

I learned my lesson.  After getting the physio treatment that I needed, doing the exercises Steve told me to do and taking it a little bit easy, the pain went away.  In future, I will listen to the early warning signs, get some early treatment, stop overloading my body and hopefully stop myself from having to go through the pain.  My challenge to you is, will you please do the same?