This is Making Me Stronger

IMG_4426.JPGI enjoy a good massage. Not the light, fairy-fingers muscle teasers, but the heavy-handed, elbow-in-the-small-of-your-back Chinese massage. The harder the better. And chuck in some of that back-scorching mentholated oil for good measure.

When I first started going to visit a Chinese massage therapist, I felt nothing but pain. He said the pain would go away the more my muscles because accustomed to being manipulated.

And so, from then on, every time I would lie down on he massage table, I would remind myself: ‘This is making me stronger.’

He was right. It wasn’t that I developed a superpower that didn’t feel pain, but a strong sense grew in me—an awareness, if you will—that this was good for me, that this was building strength, resilience, courage.

I think of this as I sit at my desk, drowning in reports, deadlines, and everyday issues of a job dominated by IT and all the troubles dealing with It and people-who-use-IT-but-can’t all day. My neck muscles tense as I stare for hours at the screen. Back muscles burn from repeated turns to one side of my desk to retrieve the next job sheet, invoice, or roster.
‘This is making me stronger.’

A few years ago I would never have believed you if you told me I would be doing what I do today, ever day. The sheer volume of work and the details involved would have blown my mind. I would have foreseen my imminent committal to a mental institution, or at the least some sort of prescription drug dependency.

But, like a good massage therapist, those muscles I needed to do my work became stronger with us. My neurons started firing in different ways that led my brain to adjust to the growing pressure and multiplicity of tasks.

Life has a way of throwing difficulties our way constantly. As an older—and wiser—man once god me, ‘It doesn’t get any easier.’ (That same wise man told me that the sausage on pizza was cat intestines. It goes to show how wise someone may be one day and totally incredulous the next.)

In spite of this, I believe we get better at handling the stuff life throws at us. Problems that are solved, troubles that are navigated, adrenaline-inducing risks that are embraced all build into us some sort of immunity that makes the next obstacle seem a little less daunting and the next mountain a little smaller than we once would have imagined.

‘This is making me stronger.’

Bring it on!

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