Piglet, Pooh, and Pain

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” asked Piglet.

“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

When you hurt, your inner Piglet shows up.

When you turn Piglet loose, your mind is no longer yours. Piglet turns you into thinking everything is bad, nothing will get better; you think differently; things you might otherwise not notice. Things that could be bad, things that someday could go wrong. What if I never get better? What if this is all I have the rest of my life? What if I wake up and my back hurts so much I can’t get out of bed? What if…..

Sometimes the “what-ifs” can be helpful if you do something about them.

But, if you let Piglet have his way with you, you’ll be older sooner than you want to be. You’ll feel, move, talk, and think at the age of 50 as if your 80.

Pain slows you down. It slices off entire sections of your life and I’m not talking about no longer being able to play linebacker in football. No. I mean you avoid taking the stairs, even just a few, because your knee hurts or your back hurts. Or, you give up yard work or walking your dog.

And, you’re 52; not 92.

Feeling youthful is all about energy. Sure, some people think being youthful is the way you look but I have news for you. No matter how hard you try to look 20, it just ain’t gonna’ happen at 70. You can do things to improve your appearance but what makes you feel and seem younger is the energy you possess and use. And, pain zaps you of energy and can keep you from doing things to improve your energy.

When you hurt, Piglet will convince you that there’s nothing you can do; you might as well accept your poor, miserable lot in life and just do less and less and less; all is lost.

The tree is going to fall. Hell, it already fell and maybe there’s another one coming. Sometimes Piglet is in you and sometimes he’s the people you associate with or talk to. Stay away from Piglets. Don’t listen to Piglets. They are not helpful. They do nothing but keep you in Piglet’s grasp.

Find some Pooh in you and get around some Pooh people. Pooh helps you see possibilities and possibilities fuel your efforts. A lot of the pain people have at the age of 50 or so is treatable. Back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain – most of it is musculoskeletal and most of it can be either eliminated or significantly reduced. It’s not always easy but it’s often simple – modify your routines, exercise, clean up your diet,  improve your mobility and find your inner Pooh.

Is it worth the effort to do these things? Well, that’s up to you. For me, absolutely it is. I had a nasty back injury a few years ago and when my good friend and coach Christine asked me what it would mean to be unable to do certain things anymore,  I said “It’s just….it’s the start of the end. It’s the end.”

Piglet talking. Thankfully, Christine is almost all Pooh (just ask her clients – they know what I’m talking about). But actually, the injury was not the start of the end. It was the start of renewal. I feel better now that I did before I was injured. Mentally, emotionally, physically. Hard to do? Yep. Sure was and still is from time to time. Very hard. But worth it.

Ignore Piglet. He’s helpful when you’re lost in the woods or on some deserted island struggling for existence but otherwise Piglet borrows trouble from the future. Find Pooh, fix your pain and find your energy again.