I’m suffering with pain in my back.
I have been dealing with this pain for longer than I care to remember.
Or at least trying to deal with it.
And recently it was diagnosed as a pinched nerve in my neck, which considering what I have gone through to get this diagnosis is fairly encouraging news.
This pain has caused the first hour of my rides to be almost unbearable, as pain stabs into my shoulders, my arm tingles and it feels like someone is dancing the boogie woogie on my chest.
I have tried to suffer in silence, but when everyone rides away from me or when I just flat out refuse to ride with my friends … I end up having to explain.
And this is when it happens.
I’ve found out every single person I know who rides a bike has a guy.
“You’ve gotta see my guy.”
“Go. Try my massage therapist. She is the best.”
“My rolfer is amazing.”
“You should check out my yogi.”
“I swear my acupuncturist changed my life.”
“This guy, this fucking guy, is a life saver.”
“This pilates instructor in the neighborhood really dialed me in.”
“My guy understands the human body better than anyone I have ever met.”
“You should totally go to my chiropractor. She is the bomb.”
I find this incredibly annoying, but also super interesting.
Like all my friends who have succeeded I, too, want to find my guy.
I have tried acupuncture, chiropracty, rolfing, massage, self-massage, and as many home remedies I could stomach. I have read books on chronic pain and core training. I have tried heat and ice and ice and heat. And I have even tried whisky, like in the old western movies.
But, I have yet to stumble upon “my guy.”
I have heard enough tales woven by my friends about how they too did extensive and exhausting searches for a cure for their pain and then one day wandered into some yoga class or asian herb shop or new age chocolate/stone massage seance treatment center in search of a cure. And there, out of thin air, appeared their “guy.”
Recently, I have done the unthinkable, I have actually gone to see a doctor. And the doctor has told me my years of carrying camera bags and cameras, mixed with my years of riding a bicycle has caused my shoulder blades to separate. She has suggested I need to unstretch out my back, build my shoulder muscle back up and slowly pull my shoulder blades back together. She suggests I need to work on counter-balancing the stretching bicycling has caused with good old-fashioned, focused hard work.
And here I was just hoping to find “my guy” and have him or her tweak my little toe and make the pain go away.
Instead, I have started with a series of exercises, paying constant attention to my posture and how I carry my bags and being consistent.
The hard work has begun, but the search has not halted.
I’m not giving up on the “my guy” theory.
So, when I tell you about my back, feel free to tell me about your guy.