I’ve been having a lot of reoccurring back pain and spasms again in the past several months. It’s been rather discouraging. Then, last Saturday, mid massage, my massage therapist, who has been working on me for over 8 years now, says, “wow…do you ever think about how different your body is then when we first started?” Huh, no, actually I hadn’t thought about that lately. She said that right after I quickly, and effortlessly, flipped over…a feat that used to require about 4 minutes, some swearing, and a lot of tears. I’ve been focusing so much on how AMAZING I felt about 2 years ago (when I was almost pain free after dumping the pain pills and starting several months of hypnotherapy and exercise) and felt that I was a total failure for having so many problems again lately.. Problems that I know are being caused by a more stressful job and my lack of effective coping skills at dealing with it. I had been so down on myself for my backward slide from those delightful but precarious pain free days, and hadn’t focused at all on how far I’ve come in the long run. In the past 8 years, my body has gained weight, lost weight, gotten stronger, gained weight, gotten even stronger, gotten sick, gotten over being sick (repeat and repeat), been bedridden for days (even weeks one time) due to pain, but has eventually always gotten out of bed, has worked out, and wandered new and strange cities, strolled foreign beaches, has hiked hundreds and hundreds of miles, has crossed rushing rivers and slid down muddy banks, has survived sprained ankles and shin splints and wacked IT bands, has carried backpacks full of what it needs to survive for 3 days, has been squeezed into airplane seats and other tight places for hours and still always pops back into it’s original shape, has danced the night away, has sent me signals when I was in danger and gotten me safely away, has gotten scraps and bruises and scars (and wears them very well), has worn out 3 elliptical trainers, 1 set of snow shoes, and at least 13 pairs of running and hiking shoes (and countless pairs of yoga pants), has ingested delights and toxins and lived to keep ingesting more, has climbed mountains, has groaned in intense pain, and moaned in intense pleasure, and it just keeps going. And this is just in the past 8 years, let’s not forget the 30 something years before that. And the several more that are likely to still come. My body is strong. Look where it has taken me. Perhaps I need to give it a little slack for crapping out on me on occasion.