I've had a rough 24 hours. Something caused my cervical (neck) spine pain to escalate beyond my threshold. This morning, the muscles between my neck and head still spasmed relentlessly, even after a full night's sleep. It's a sign that something's not right in the section of my neck where I had surgery a year ago.
As I tried to decide how to spend my day, I looked at the thermometer and it read -7°F. Snow whipped out of the gray sky. I was sorely tempted to give up the never-ending battle, take my pain meds, and go back to bed.
My rational side has learned over the years that the "go to bed" strategy makes me feel worse, both physically and psychologically. So, when the Runner and the Duo invited me to cross country ski with them early this morning, I accepted. I'm certain that I wasn't delightful company but the outing started shifting my attitude in a better direction.
The Duo didn't mind the extra load of snow that fell overnight, bringing us up to a deep snowpack, that varies from 6" to 3' depending on where you stand after yesterday's wind. The combination of fresh snow and the arctic temperature made it a 'white face day' for the canines.
I stopped to enjoy their goofy snow-decorated faces.
So, I wrestled with how to do some biking - since cycling is always the best medicine for my spine. Given the unrideable trails, the extraordinary cold, and the snow still falling out of the sky, I debated whether to ride a stationary bike indoors or try to ride on the snow-packed dirt roads. After hemming and hawing for much too long, I decided to "go for it". I took out my snow bike and rode to a couple of narrow and quiet private roads. I did a short ride, to the end and back of each of them.
I'm so glad that I went out into the arctic world. One reason is that I met the elk herd, spread out over an endless meadow. Most of them lay in the snow, not bothering to munch on the tall dry grass still protruding from the deep layer of snow. A few elk were up and about, lazily chewing on their low calorie diet. I honestly don't know how such massive animals survive the winter with so little food available.
He turned to examine me - and I found that he had a white face just like the dogs!
I'm sorry to focus so much on pain in this post. Spine pain is with me every single day but usually I can overlook it. Not today.