July 4, 2012

On Change and Challenge

On Change and Challenge

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~ Victor Frankl

I guess that one could say that change is the most predictable thing in life that you can’t prepare for. So why then, are we still surprised when it happens? We call it “unwelcome change” or say “the change was unanticipated” – but isn’t that almost always the case? Change is change. Who am I to judge if it’s good or bad or just different.

For just over a month pain has been hampering my ability to run. Frankly, it has hampered my ability to walk on someday (stairs are the worst), or sit comfortably. So yesterday I took the next step in treatment.

Lumbar epidural steroid injection is a long name for a procedure that involves placing a long needle into the spine and delivering a drug (in this case a ling acting steroid) to the precise spot that seems to be causing the trouble (in this case between my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. The hope is that over the next 3-10 days I get a whole lot of pain and symptom relief and then I can really get back to recovering and doing the things I miss including running.

Of course this also leaves open other possibilities. I might only get a little better. I might get no relief at all. I also have to assume that after this much time even if I had the most perfect outcome I’m still not going to get up in 10 days and start running where I left off. I have had a lot of moments lately of feeling pretty bad about the whole thing – sometimes that’s worse than the physical pain. Funny how the mind works like that.

To get out of that, one thing I do is ask myself: If not this, then what?

Nothing really beats running for fitting into my life. It’s portable, it’s adaptable, it’s efficient. I have come to rely on it in a way because I really can take running with me as easily as my laptop. But I certainly can’t do it right now and I don’t know when I’ll get the thumbs up to run again.

So today I bought a bicycle.

I discovered a couple of weeks ago that I could ride my son’s bike with almost no pain and it at least got me moving and sweating and outside in the fresh air by the beach. The following week I was at a hotel in San Diego where I forced myself to work out on the recumbent bike in the gym and it was boring as toast, but it did feel like a pretty good workout when all was said and done.

So today I bought a bicycle. I found it on Craig’s list – it’s a 2008 Giant that was being sold by a young tattoo artist from San Diego who just happens to also be 5 feet tall. She was delighted to sell it to me. I told her she should call me next time she sells one too – not to many of us at this height shopping in the used bike market.

Of course since I have not had a road bike in many years, I also needed a bit of gear. So this evening I took myself over to Bike Religion in Newport and let George the manager get me into some new shoes and a flat kit and a few other useful items. New gear always seems to beget more new gear. Funny how that works.

So assuming my back allows, I am getting on a bike tomorrow and going for a ride. I’m actually looking forward to it which is a nice feeling. I have no idea what comes next.

Here’s to the predictability of the unpredictable. More change ahead.

Happy Independence Day.




Leave a comment
  1. Karen Huff
    July 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Try Spinning. If you are in Charleston,SC check out Charleston Ride. It is the best.

  2. Dawn
    July 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Hope you are feeling better Jacqueline…. 🙂