Back On Track And Then Back On The Flat Of My Back
Runner's World SA|October 2018
Back On Track And Then Back On The Flat Of My Back

LAST YEAR I put my back out lifting my suitcase onto a train.

Paul Tonkinson

It was very painful; and by the time I arrived at my destination – after a four-and-ahalf-hour journey – I could barely walk. For the next few mornings it took me 20 minutes to get out of bed. Putting on my shoes was torture. I couldn’t run for a week. Turns out, the back’s really important. But you take it for granted, don’t you?

Over the next few months I got better, and everything was returning to normal; until one day, as I was lifting my daughter’s heavy suitcase into the back of a taxi, it went again. A quick ping. A seismic shift at the base of my back. I limped into the house to begin the slow recovery afresh. The crawling. The agony of socks. Painkillers. This must never happen again, I vowed. If I want to run, I’ve reached an age where I must work on all-round body strength. Loads of stretching and core work. And as for lifting: for God’s sake, bend the knees!

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October 2018