Pleasure, Pain and a Pledge

This post comes to you close to the wire in terms of my commitment to an essay a day in May courtesy of the first P in the title.


You find yourself reading a slightly red wine and gin addled post thanks to an impromptu night out with co-owner of Dorsu and personal friend Hanna Guy and her dad Dave.


A “come join us for a wine” text ended up being a two bottles of red, followed by a night cap G&T (BTW if you haven’t already heard, Cardamom infused gin is THE FUTURE!) times three night which has just ended with the lovely tuktuk driver Nu dropping me at the gate to a welcoming serenade from resident canines Big Red & Yappy (or Bean as he’s officially known).


So that succinctly sums up pleasure meaning it’s time to move on to pain.


For 47 years now I have carefully trained my shoulders to slowly but surely gravitate towards my ears via across the board tightening of muscles.  This stressed position is all well and good until some form of actual stress like an impending  primary school cover teaching stint sends the already tensed up muscles into super tense overdrive and my body ceases to function without pain.  And there you have the picture of me this week.  Back, neck & shoulders knotted to high heaven with knots on knots causing a trapped nerve and the inability to raise my left arm more than a few inches without experiencing pain.


I’ve suffered it in silence all week.  A round of heads, shoulders knees and toes turned into heads, shoulders half way to my knees, half way to my knees as I creaked and groaned through each afternoon, until I finally did the grown-up thing and called our local osteopath and masseur this morning for help.


Fast forward to 6pm this evening and I find myself lying on a massage bed and having my spine manipulated.  From the manipulations being made it quickly became apparent what a twisted wreck my body had become and I slowly but surely had this realisation reinforced as muscles from my clavicle to my elbow – some of which I didn’t know existed – screamed in protest as they were gently asked to release from spasm.  An hour of this torturous bliss left me feeling like I was floating on air as I headed home on my bike. What’s more, it also ignited in me the fire to commit the last P of the title.


On the first of May I pledged to write an essay a day in May and ten days in this pledge has been a huge source of huge procrastination but also a source of joy.  Writing every day feels good especially when that writing is put out into the world to be read and responded to.


And so, I’m going to try once again to harness the accountability of putting something out into the virtual world in a bid to get something going.


And this time my pledge is to my personal health.


The pain of the massage and manipulations today have made me finally, really acknowledge how abusive I’ve been to my body for the last 6 months.


And so, I hereby pledge to doing at least 10 minutes but preferably 20-30 minutes of simple flexibility based yoga every day from tomorrow until I leave Cambodia for the UK on 7th June 2018.


Can’t wait to start tomorrow (said the Sara who is not already feeing a hangover forming).


Wish me luck!  I’ll keep you posted.

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