I feel so old saying this but here it goes... This week I hurt my back.

Naturally, I've decided to write about it in my newsletter. This is my big news for the week: hurt my back. 😶

While I don't actually believe my back pain is something particularly news-worthy, I have had a few extra minutes for introspection this week while doing my toe-touches and hip-circles that I want to share with you.

First, how did I hurt my back? I'm in good shape. I run, do yoga, and lift weights daily. I did all of these things the morning of "the incident." And, ironically/annoyingly, my injury did not occur while lifting big weights or doing pull-ups. No, and I'm about to feel old again... I hurt my back putting on my shoe. What?!

Honestly, my first response wasn't, "oh no, I hurt myself," it was, "are you kidding me? Putting on a shoe?!"

This morning I was thinking about this. What happened? And, how can one prevent an injury that can apparently happen at the drop of a hat? So I thought back to the moment: I bent over, started putting on my shoe, and felt something like electricity shoot through my body, from my foot through my leg and into my back.

It wasn't what I was doing that caused my injury; it was how I was doing it.

I've felt increasingly anxious over the past few weeks. I've noticed some tightness in my hamstrings, but it hasn't impacted my day-to-day. Meanwhile, the anxiety and been growing. It's like there's a program running in the background of my life—I'm not even sure what show this is, but I can tell that it is making me anxious, and it seems to be moving increasingly into the foreground. Not enough to impact my day-to-day, until this week when I bent over to put on my shoe.

Have you experienced this "program in the background?" I experience it all of the time. Most of the time, it stays in the background. But I am increasingly aware that it's vying for my attention.

Here's the surprising thing—and I'm literally realizing this as I type—the problem is not this program running in the background; it's my response to it.

I was (like 45 seconds ago) going to write about how these background programs can pull us away from real life, and that causes injury. I was close, but I was about to miss it entirely.

If I would have stopped to pay attention, this "undefined background program" would have become defined. It would have been given space—a voice. I could have stopped to listen. I could have given this part of myself attention, and care.

Instead, I ignored it. "You don't exist. You're not real." I said this to a part of myself.

How can I hope to be whole when I am so quick to segment myself into piles of "acceptable" and "you don't exist?"

I could have stopped to listen. I'm listening now...

Here is the response from this part of me: "Thank you." And... "Please, don't go immediately back to your newsletter—these people, most of whom you don't even know, but for some reason feel the need to impress. Please stay and pay attention."

Wow, this writing session has taken a hard left. Going for a walk now. I'll write the rest of this newsletter soon... ♥️

I Hurt My Back

Tuning In: How Ignored Feelings Manifest in Physical Ways