Pain, if it is not too overwhelming, is something you get used to after a while. It travels with you, sleeps with you, makes rules about what can and cannot be done. And then there comes an afternoon when, as you sit at your desk, reviewing the latest professional hope research literature, you are struck by an awareness that something is different. At first you wonder what has been added, and then you realize that it is not that something has been added, but rather that something has unaccountably gone missing. The missing thing is pain.
There follows a moment of wonder, and then a moment of celebration, and finally, an appraisal. For this arm, the one with the pain, is still falling short of her potential. Not yet reached is the time when she will once again retrieve the second row of water glasses from the third kitchen shelf, or stretch back to fasten a bra hook, or hold the railing while stepping down from the city bus.
So you pause in your reading to stretch, and extend, and hold for twenty seconds six times in each pose, the way the physiotherapist taught you to do. And you keep this up until the old aching tug has taken up its position once again. Then you go back to reading research articles from the hope literature. But a part of you is now wondering if, albeit inadvertently, you might have discovered one internal difference between athletes and couch potatoes. Could it be that a couch potato will rest until the pain goes away, while an athlete, noticing the absence of pain, will see the untapped potential and jump up to stretch some more?
You want to be the athlete. It seems the right thing to be. but honestly, you have to admit that there is definitely a generous portion of couch potato in you.