Ever been chased by an angry dog while you’re riding your bike?
People will tell you how to handle this.
Most of them say… get off your bike and walk, keeping the bike between you
and the dog. Keep your eye on the dog, but don’t make direct eye contact.
He’ll consider that a challenge.
While on a group bike tour our guide taught us a different approach. It will surprise you… Look straight at the charging dog and yell,
in an authoritative voice: “GET OFF THE COUCH!”
He’ll be so startled by the command he knows and the tone he recognizes, he’ll stop in his tracks.
Works every time, the guide told us.
I didn’t have to use it that trip, but I tucked it away for another day. Because … what do you do when the angry dog comes after you?
It may be our GET OFF THE COUCH! moment.
But … yelling at a charging dog is likely to be harder than we think.
Even if we pedal fast and have a very authoritative voice.
My left rotator cuff is giving me a bit of trouble again. I notice it when simple motions give me a twinge. Like pulling the sheets back or grabbing the seat belt. I, ever the self-diagnostician, always stop at the twinge. I lift the arm. Rotate it. Lift it again. Until I get it exactly right. And by right, I mean, when I can repeat the pain.
That may sound a bit counterproductive, but that’s how I pinpoint what to address. It hurts – right – here. Poke. Prod. Let me try a push up… Nope. That hurts. Maybe a stretch… Nope. That hurts. There is always rest but that sounds so very much like giving up. I mean, something caused this problem, I must FIX it.
So, I can’t do push ups but I can do my “regular” upper back/trapezius/cervical spine strengthening lifts. I do these lying face down on a half foam roller. Straight armed raises using 3 (yes, 3) lb weights – call me a wimp if you’d like – arms at my sides, then arms out to the sides, then…wait. When I lift my arms toward the back – the motion opposite my rotator cuff pain on the front – I feel weak on the left side. Go figure. A weak muscle is likely the culprit in the straining of it’s opposing muscle.
Why is it when we have pain that we poke and prod around the painful spot rather than behind it? That we scurry to shore up the injury instead of looking to its support system for weak links? Why do we fix rather than strengthen and stabilize in a way that would repair and steady us to move forward?
Perhaps because it’s dark and cobwebby down there. It may get ugly. We may get dirty. It may be hard work. Or it may be that we just don’t think about it.
It just sounds very much like God to me to say, “Wendy, I used that sore spot to get your attention, but what really needs doing is this.”
It’s such a better conversation than the one I usually have with myself that starts with, “ouch” and ends with: “this would have been so easy to prevent had I addressed it sooner.”
I believe God is in the injury prevention business, not just service and repair.