Grumpy about my aching back

I’ve spent the summer of 2014 being extremely active. Having 47 years behind me is no barrier.

I’ve taken the kids to our little water park at every chance. I don’t sit on my ass. I play. I toss my 40-pound son into the air, wheeee wheeee. I throw my 50-pound daughter into airborne flips and cannonballs. They like to grab onto me and then I rise like a drunken behemoth, 90 pounds of human barnacle stuck to me as I heave myself around the shallow end. I play tag and chase rings with Jesse in the deep water. We like to do handstands in shallower spots.

We spent almost two weeks at the ocean this summer. I carried Nick into the surf and tossed him over breakers. I boogey-boarded with Jesse and by myself and swam around and had loads of fun. I chased the kids about the beach. We dug deep holes with our bare hands and made forts and trenches and moats. I couldn’t get enough.

We went camping for many many days, at numerous locations. This entails loading and unloading lots of heavy things and carrying them from here to there and back again. The cargo topper for the car makes it even more strenuous because one must hoist equipment high over one’s head, especially when one is only five-foot-one. I can duck-walk (because I’m too short to regular-walk it) a 30-pound propane tank around a campsite like there’s no tomorrow, and squat-dead-lift a fully-loaded 50-gallon cooler — that’s about 70 pounds as far as I can tell – into and out of the back of a car, my short arms extended to almost maximum wingspan. Them paleo-crossfit chicks ain’t got nothin’ on this cave woman.

We hiked miles and miles and miles in mountains and sand dunes. I frequently carried a 15- to 20-pound pack with our water and food and emergency gear. We had elevation changes and steep grades. I even occasionally gave the kids piggy-back rides when they were tired.

These activities tired me and occasionally left me with sore muscles, but I never broke or hurt anything. I’m proud to come from pretty hardy stock.

Yesterday we got back from our last camping trip of the year. After 3 nights in a tent and 4 days of sand and dirt, we could not have smelled worse. I jumped into the shower with pleasure, a perfect way to wind down and relax. I got to work scrubbing all that nasty grime off all my parts. I even remembered to do the bottoms of my feet. I lifted my right foot, turned it up in front of me with bent knee and scrubbed the sole. I lifted my left foot and turned it up and —


Something gave out in my left hip and low back, standing in the shower with a foot up.

You’ve got to be kidding. This morning I’m suffering, shuffling around bent over, my back covered in icy-hot. Looks like Advil is in my near future.

Not two crazy kids, not a summer full of fun, nor even excessive heavy lifting can take me down. But it looks like 47 years are taking their toll after all.

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