Posture Thursday – Finally Getting to The Car Work

Winter’s Lost Its Grip

Although, the ocean hasn’t been set free. Amon Amarth, look it up.

Okay, so it seems that spring is finally here. I don’t know what got into old man winter that made him so stubborn, but whatever it was, he finally seems to have given up and gone away. Seriously, what is up with snow and killing frosts around the Victoria Day weekend?

Normally, the transition is gradual (and here we get to the point of all of this) so I have a few days to find time to do my winter tires. This year, ehhhhh, not so much. Seriously, over the course of about a week we went from overnight lows in the -5 range, to daily highs pushing 30.

My wife was off on Monday, so we took the boys to a local conservation area to play in the park, chase sunfish and perch, and generally have a little relaxation during all this madness. Only it was 28 out, which is hell on winter tires, which I hadn’t swapped out because, as I mentioned, winter held on. During her normal commuting time the temps were still down in the mid single digits where winters are a good idea.

Well, I accepted that for one hot, really hot, day, we’d still be driving on winter rubber, and that I’d just have to do them in the evening when things cool down a bit. What I didn’t plan on was the humidity.

By the time 7 pm rolled around when the sun was off the driveway, and the temperature had fallen into the tolerable range for physical labour, the humidity had brought the mosquitoes out in force.

My normal routine for getting the tires swapped is to take a little time to gather my tools, arrange the summers around the vehicle and generally prep for the job. My younger boys like to help (especially jacking up the car and running the impact drive) and they’re experienced enough at this point that their help is actually helpful.

The mosquitoes

But the darned mosquitoes were driving us all nuts, so the prepping and organizing went by the boards as we hurried to get things done before they bugs drained us dry. This, in turn, meant that the care I normally take in moving in a spine-friendly way also went by the boards.

I was:

  • Lifting with my back, not my legs
  • Hunching over the wheels when taking the lug nuts off/on
  • Hunching over the jack when lifting/dropping the car
  • Carrying the tires rather than rolling them

All in an effort to Get. The. Job. Done.

After the job was done, and on Tuesday morn? What about my poor, tormented back?

It was…fine. A little (very little) tightness, a little (very little) soreness in my lumbar, particularly to the left. Other than that? Nothing.

I spent5 years learning to undo the after effects of a lifetime of unhealthy posture and movement habits. This included:

  • Modifying the entire Bikram Yoga sequence
  • Eliminating all lumbar flexion for over 2 years
  • Studying every shape I put my body in; eating, sleeping, driving, working, exercising, etc. to learn to modify it for movement and spine health

Now I’m in maintenance mode. I do exercises every day to maintain spine health. I continually think about shapes and movements, every day, to make sure I’m moving and exercising in a spine healthy way.

Spine health has paid off.

Doing all this work has paid off, spectacularly, in more ways than I can tell you. Although I’ll try. For today, I will say this; I have repaired my body to the point where I can cheat. I can move in an unhealthy way, doing things that used to cause severe pain, and not pay the iron price.

Because I’ve already spent 5 years paying the iron price.