One more f***ing crate.
Then it happened.
I picked up that last crate, and something gave way in the lower left part of my back. I dropped the crate and dropped to a knee. It felt like someone had jammed an ice pick in there. It swelled quickly and walking was difficult.
(I should point out that this part of my back almost always gives me problems in class. This is the area where I feel discomfort almost every time I try Locust Pose.)
Since I had dealt with this before, I figured it would not be that bad. I thought that, as long as I took it easy, I could do the class. Admittedly. I also felt some pressure to keep up with the challenge and not get too far behind. So, very gingerly, I made my way to the studio.
The instructor immediately asked what happened and I told her the story.
Her: "Would you like some Advil?"
Me: "Oh, no. I'm ok. It will be fine."
Her: "You just injured your back and require an anti-inflammatory. Let me ask you again. Would you like some Advil?"
Me: "You know, that sounds like a good idea. Two, please."
The first part of class was not bad. As long as I made sure to suck my stomach in, there wasn't much pain. However, any forward bend was uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. Then we got to the posture before Triangle: Standing Separate Leg Stretching. For all intents and purposes, that is where the class ended for me.
As soon as I tried to go forward, I crumpled to the floor. I eased my way to a seated position and stayed there until Tree and Toestand. I was able to do Tree but that was it. The floor series was a complete washout. I thought that, if nothing else, laying on the warm floor would help ease the pain. It did. At least until class was over. When I tried to get up I found that my back was completely frozen. It took minutes to roll to one side, then I was able to gingerly get to my feet. Even then I was leaning on the wall to get from the room to the showers, shuffling along like a 200 year old with tears of pain welling up.
I went to work the next day and was able to get through it. Since Wednesday is one of my nights to clean the yoga room, I took class. It was a carbon copy of the previous night except that I was able to move more easily after class. After a few hours of sleep I was back in for the 5:30 AM on Thursday. This time I was able to do some of the floor poses and had a decent class. Yesterday I took the 4:30PM and I was good all the way until Rabbit Pose. That asana proved a bit much and I rested for that one. I was complimented by the instructor after class!
In retrospect, had I not been in the midst of a challenge, I would have sat out for two or three days, let the pain/swelling subside, and get back to it. I might have let my pride or competitiveness get the best of me. I could have taken a day off and still met the deadline. In reality, I'm glad I did what I did. I really got to test my limits. Without the yoga, I truly believe that I might still be in some discomfort. Instead, my back feels great!
There was no yoga today due to my work schedule. This means that I must complete nine classes between now and next Saturday the 30th. I am hydrating as I write: doing a double tomorrow (8 and 10AM). It's going to be a long week but I can do this.
I am strong.
I am STRONG.
I AM STRONG!!!
(And so are you!!!)
See you on the other side!!