growing pains.

It is always humbling – and, at times, humiliating – to be reminded of our limits as individuals.  Last week, I was forced to acknowledge and accept the fact that I am no longer the spry, athletic teenager I once was.  I don’t consider myself old, as I sit here basking in the glow of my latter twenties.  But as I lay in such extreme and excruciating pain last week, I don’t really consider myself young, either.

The cause of the muscle strain was simple: I tried to push myself during my workouts and upped my weight for a specific move.  And that one change was enough to strain my lower back muscles and make any form of movement pretty unbearable – until a visit to the doctor and some powerful painkillers.  The doctor’s advice to me after we talked about the injury, ran some tests and talked about how to move forward was simple: don’t push it too much anymore.  I knew this would be what he would tell me – I’ve seen my share of athletic-induced injuries and pain.  But I hated that he was basically telling me I was getting old.  Way to make a girl feel good about herself, Doc.

I’m thankful to report I’m on the mend.  I’ve taken it easy this week, substituting my normal exercise routine with lots of stretching.  I’m learning to accept my limits, what I can control and what I can change.

On another note, I’m happy to report that Ben and I will be traveling north for the holidays this year.  We are looking forward to reuniting with family and friends – it’s been about a year and a half since I’ve been home.  The trip will be a whirlwind – we’ll be covering a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time.

I’ve really missed Pittsburgh and New York; both will always continue to be “home” to me.  In some ways, I’m nervous about the trip and how I’ll hold up.  It’s going to be hard to return, to see that my place there no longer exists, that so much has changed.  It was such a struggle to leave, to say goodbye to dear friends whose calls no longer come.  I knew relationships would fade as time and distance grew, but it’s still been a difficult thing to accept.  Even though these thoughts exist, I’m excited to reunite with old friends who have withstood the separation and visit some of my favorite places.  It will be a comfort to be back.

Now home is where the Navy sends me (and Ben).  And for now, it comes complete with white sand beaches and plentiful sunshine.

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