15 March 2009

Waddell Creek, 15 March 2009

I've been a bad, bad girl. In the last 3 weeks, I've only been swimming maybe two or three times, and I've done yoga and stretching exercises only several more times than that. Oh, I have great excuses for being such a slacker: travel, work, DST, frigid mornings. But it caught up to me this morning at Waddell.

S and I met M in the parking lot under threatening clouds. The wind was already coming up at late morning, and it was sloppy wind-choppy with a serious north drift. M and I headed out on the smaller north end, since the middle was running head-high closeouts, sucking up sand. Happily it was not hard to get outside on the fish - either my duck-diving is better or Waddell didn't have it in for me as usual. Of course, I should've brought the shortboard instead, although I don't think it would've made a big difference. To my chagrin, my back started to hurt from an old surfing injury* shortly after I reached the lineup, and it kept getting worse until I had to bag the rideless sesh, bidding M a fun time on my way back to the beach. But conditions were deteriorating and he came in soon too, as did most of the crowd. It was a shoulda been here earlier, shoulda been here yesterday, kind of sesssion.

*Backstory: In July 2006, I went over the falls at Linda Mar on a 4-5 ft wave. I feared landing on my funshape so I pushed it out of the way, but ended up hitting the water head first, with the lip of the tubing closeout continuing to push my feet forward. This hyper-extended my back into a C-shape reverse bend, squashing a disk in my lower back between two vertebrae. When I reached the beach I couldn't straighten up. I couldn't even sit in a chair for a few weeks and missed a lot of work. My back got better to a point but I have never fully recovered. After nearly 3 years and a series of doctors, chiropractors good and bad and horrible, physiatrists, physical therapy, massage therapy, various useless drugs (prescription, of course) and a normal MRI, I've given up hope of ever being able to comfortably slouch in a chair again or do anything that involves bending near the ground, like gardening. So I've learned to avoid any activities that cause lower back pain (on the plus side, there are many household chores in this category), and for the most part have been stable within that limitation. Except initially, it hasn't affected surfing...until now.

I didn't take the wristcam in the water since after only one session plus some indoor messing around, it was already warning "low battery." But I managed to try the video mode, although for some reason this looks much darker and gloomier than it really was:

A big glass of wine (okay, it was two), has dulled the pain somewhat. And I promise to be a good girl and swim every day and do my exercises, just please please please let me surf!


  1. I am a lot older than you and injuries plague me all the time so I empathise. I have lower back/sciatica and ongoing shoulder injuries from being just too damn pig-headed and putting my body through hell when I was younger (like falling off motor bikes). A lot of friends around my age have 'surfers back' too but they have been surfing most of their lives. Yeah, swimming is the best thing for sure. It is such a shame that bloody work gets in the way of the exercise program too.

  2. i have 2 herniated discs and can totally empathize. a few years ago i got rolfed and it has helped tremendously. cant recommend it enough. good luck.