I have a wrist injury I call the Tequila Lesson. Remember when you were young and foolish and spent one night drinking too much tequila? The next day you felt like hell, but you learned a valuable lesson: don’t drink too much tequila.
Time passes and memories fade. Sadly every now and then you need to be reminded of that lesson to affirm what you knew was right all those years ago; don’t drink too much tequila. There’s hell to pay if you do. But “do” you do and that’s the Tequila Lesson, learning a lesson AGAIN.
Injuries are sometimes accidental, but more often there is plenty of warning leading up to them. I harp on my students about paying attention and not working into pain. I can usually tell if they have learned the Tequila Lesson or if they need another reminder. If they haven’t linked cause to effect they will continue to march towards their date with destiny. I cross my fingers and hope it doesn’t result in permanent damage or surgery, just a “slap on the wrist” expensive PT bill. If they have learned the lesson, they will back off, work smart and adapt, because “if you always do what you’ve always done you will always have what you’ve already got.” I have no idea who summed up this complex bit of humanity and repetitive stress injury theory into such a pithy little package, but it’s a great mantra.
There is an old quote attributed to the modern dance legend Bill Evans. “Most people want something different, but most people don’t want to change.” An astute assessment, and one that shows itself clearly when we are trying to recover from injury.
So there I am cutting chicken wire. I’m making little bunny barriers. The bunnies are eating my expensive Japanese Forrest Grass, just a mowing it down with their bucky chompers and I’ve decided chicken wire will keep them out. And it does. It works great but now my wrist doesn’t. Sadly I needed a reminder of the foibles of working in pain, and I kept cutting the wire despite clear protests from my wrist. So now I’m living the dream, having reminded myself spectacularly of the Tequila Lesson and of cause and effect. I’m giving it a year to recover, and must now adapt poses and house work, doing the thing I should have done when my wrist first started barking at me: stop or adapt. I couldn’t take the time then but I’m sure taking it now.
The lemon-aid maker in me is kind of excited to be learning a lot about wrists in such a hands on way, and I must say they are quite complex as well as subtle. And thankfully, I’m only racking up an expensive PT bill.