About 10 years ago I was having some shoulder and back soreness and went to see a guy who did trigger point therapy. Surprisingly, he didn’t focus on my shoulder. My problem was one or two joints away from the shoulder, he told me. The shoulder was the effect but not the cause.
When one area is out of alignment, it throws everything else off.
At the moment, my main problem is the broken leg. But it’s also messing up other things: my shoulders and upper arms are now sore from using the walker and crutches. It’s gotten bad enough that I went to see a massotherapist to help get things lined up again.
It occurs to me that this is also a metaphor that applies more widely.
People tend to think that when you ride so much, you must be really healthy. I’ve often joked that, yeah, I’m fit for cycling but I’m not sure it’s healthy. I’ve actually felt more healthy overall in the winter, when I’ve mixed cycling and running, and the training intensity is less.
Sitting here now, having gone 6 weeks without riding, it seems quite obvious that what we do is out of balance.
This isn’t a new thought for me. Back in late 2001 — and I remember this clearly — I finished reading a book by the Dalai Lama, and concluded that bike racing was an addiction not unlike other addictions. Sure, it’s better than substance addiction, but it still seemed clear that from a psychological (or spiritual) perspective it was an addiction.
I thought about dialing back the racing, and wasn’t sure how much I would race in 2002. But then it seemed that just recognizing the addictive quality was enough. I knew that I wasn’t going to race forever, and wanted to do it while I could.
If I recall correctly, I had a pretty good year racing.
Right now, I am out of balance again, in more than one sense. In addition to the physical issues, I’ve gone from being super-active to mostly-sedentary, spending way too much time in front of an open laptop. From one extreme to another. I think I need to go find and re-read that Dalai Lama book.
PS. The movie that is referenced in the YouTube clip above is worth watching. Not sure how available it is these days.