Step 19: Dance the Cha-Cha

How To Enjoy A 50K — Step 19: Dance the Cha-Cha


Since the results of my X-rays and stand-up MRIs, I’ve been seeing the assistant to the primary neck and spine specialist because the primary doctor has been recovering from his own surgery.

Yesterday he was back, comprehensively reviewing my scans for the first time, and he said two things I didn’t really want to hear:

First he said the degree to which my Atlas bone is crooked or “off” is more than he is accustomed to seeing and I hadn’t made as much progress as he’d hoped.

Then he asked me if I’d been running.

Basically, every time my feet hit the ground as I jog, Dr. Bender explained, I jostle my entire skeleton. The force knocks the Atlas bone back out of alignment, re-strains my neck, and therefore prolongs treatment. Oops. Makes perfect sense in hindsight but it’s such a bummer because it means that, for the time being, until we can get the corrections to “hold”, I have to stop running.

The assistant (who is well informed, well spoken, and quite lovely) had mentioned major jostling like horseback riding but we never spoke of anything else, and I chose to believe I’d be fine. Oh how tricky the brain can be! But really—I mean seriously—who starts a running regimen while going through treatment for neck injuries?

I’ve chosen to view the setback as more of a dance 💃🏻

Two steps forward = 10 days straight of jogging 4 miles a day, rock on! 🤘

Three cha-chas back = Knock it off already, you idiot!

Dr. Bender says I can walk, which I fully intend to do—the full distance every day. And the plan is to get my neck holding proper alignment by early September, at which point I will shift to maintenance adjustments and can resume jogging.

I’m disappointed because I can almost say the jogging was becoming comfortable. It has certainly, and quickly, become an important part of my day. But mostly I just feel kind of stupid.

Sending love 💛 and light 💡quite sheepishly from behind the fingers of my face palm. Doh! 🤦🏻‍♀️

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