Appropriately for this time of year I’ve managed to freeze my shoulder.  Not quite sure how this happened – perhaps a cocktail of an exuberant boot camp session where we were paired with another boot camper and instructed to tear each other’s arms off  in the ‘warm up’, or perhaps it was my pre-marathon training run in howling wind and rain.  I’m aware that both of these possibilities make me sound stoic and worthy.  Truth is, I probably just slept badly.

Despite what every magazine article on sleep hygiene tells me, I still prefer to sleep on my front with head plunged face down into a pile of pillows.  I even take the risk of sleeping without a silk pillowcase (get me!), so it’s perhaps not surprising that each morning my midlife face takes time to iron out the creases that my sleeping posture imprints. This morning,  in addition to the map of the world engraved across my face,  I know I am in real trouble when the only way of extracting both face and body from the mattress seems to be to roll sideways onto the floor.

I eat my breakfast with a hot water bottle draped over frozen shoulder.  Correction, I try to eat breakfast with a hot water bottle draped over my frozen shoulder but it crashes into my bircher muesli (more worthiness) – correction claggy porridge – and sends the bowl flying.  Bending to clear up the tsunami of oats and chia seeds (ok, just oats), I realise that it might take me a while to get back up off the floor.

Opportunely, it is my turn to take the Saturday morning yoga class and since the title for this month’s class is ‘Stoke the Fire’ I take this as a sign that I will be able to melt my frozen shoulder muscles and morph myself into a suitably bendy shape in front of the class if I can just get myself to the studio. It’s a cross-country drive and I choose my route carefully in order to minimise having to look left.

A route to the studio across some low level moors ensures I will mostly be driving straight ahead.   I am doing well, car heating on full blast to warm my muscles, breathing deeply and gently coaxing my shoulder blades to meet each other in an attempt to open up my heart space below my seat belt as I drive.

Pot bellied pig chooses this moment to make her break for freedom.  Buoyed by piggish adrenalin after breaking through a fence and wading across a water duct, said pig emerges to saunter jauntily across the road.  I skid to an emergency stop.  Swine.

Pig finishes her preamble across the the lane and I regroup.

I can see the pig is now in no danger and has joined a field of bullocks as part of  her mid-life adventure.  Driving off and still cursing her hairy little trotters, I realise that my shoulder has in fact been thrust back into a mobile state.  Hogs and kisses to that pot-bellied liability after all .

The yoga class goes bendily.  Lots of stoking our fires, lots of twisting and lots of warm, open shoulders.  I can think of no pig pose to pay tribute to my porky saviour so teach down hog and up hog instead.  The class don’t seem to mind.   It seems appropriate for this time of year.  We wind down for the end of class relax, pulling on an extra layer to enjoy our pigs in blankets repose.

On the way home, feeling rejuvenated, I decide to reinstate my worthiness and sneak in another pre-Christmas training run.  I park up on the moors and ease myself into a jog.  As I pass pedestrians going the other way I can see them smiling and gesticulating at something behind me.  I glance over my left shoulder to see behind me a rainbow of Joseph proportions – arching from one side of the moors to the other – resplendent against a dark grey sky.  I stop and soak it in, wondering if I can redirect my run so that I’ll be running towards the rainbow rather than away.

Perhaps I stop too long.  Perhaps looking up at the sky as the first drops of rain start to fall, is a mistake. I think I’ve frozen my left shoulder again.  How appropriate for this time of year.  How worthy.


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