It was a day when I desperately needed my time moving through the forest to try to make my spine feel better. It all started two days ago with worse-than-usual pinpoint pain in my neck vertebrae. Then, the muscles around my neck started clamping down to try to splint the angry joint. Finally, by last night, the neck muscle pain was radiating up into my head. I was beyond my threshold. I took my emergency medicines and went to bed.
That’s pretty rare for me these days. I have a finely tuned routine to keep the pain mentally manageable. Most days, it works.
I woke up this morning a little better but still grumpy about the piercing pain. Leading chronic pain researchers say that the most promising frontier in managing pain is the mind. I can attest to that statement – I believe that it’s not the pain itself that matters but rather how I react to it. So, against my instinct to curl up in a dark place, I trudged out into the world for my hike with K. I focused on my world – chocolate K, nature’s beauty, and the signs of animal activity rather than the physical sensation of pain.
Today, part of fighting the battle was seeking out those sacred places where K and I love to hike together, on the edge of a ravine with stunning views of the mountains.
He leaped, tucking his paws up under his body.
Oh yes - I think that my inspirational bobcat who visited our clearing at 4 AM would agree.