There it sits, staring at me. Asking, ‘When are we going outside again?’ Soon, very soon I think to myself.
As a landscape photographer I am active, I mean really active. Hiking miles on end, camping in the middle of nowhere, staying out late, up early, scrambling over rocks and down canyons to capture moments in time and the incredible beauty of nature. I will admit, I sometimes take my mobility, health, and ability to get up and go for granted. It’s never been an issue, sure I’m getting little older and those Pacific NW beers I love aren’t helping my waist line, but still never any history of injuries for me. That all changed on a lazy Saturday morning. I felt perfectly normal and with the simple action of squatting down to grab something under the sink it all came crashing to a halt:
It’s been about 7 weeks since I suffered a series of lower back spasms. Now spasms don’t sound like much of an injury, but in my lower back, they could possibly be the most painful thing that I’ve ever experienced. I was relegated to lying on my back in bed for a couple days after each time the muscles spasmed. Then slowly moved to the couch with help for my trusty trekking poles as my crutches, only to lay there uncomfortably. Every movement hurt, most positions uncomfortable. The whole ordeal was more than just physically painful, it was emotional and mentally painful – an independent guy who is active and moving for a living was now stuck on a his back. For a moment, be it brief, but still a moment, doubt crept into my mind. What happens next? Do I heal or does this happen again? How long will this take? Can I hike in the wilderness again? Can I carry around multiple pounds of gear? What was my outcome going to be?
Ok, I thought, enough with the negative stuff. This wasn’t going to beat me. After digging deep and spending time in prayer and rest I found the strength to get back up. I wasn’t going to let this be my story. Eventually the pain subsided, I began to move more and be mobile, but by no means my old self. Over the past three weeks I’ve returned to the gym, working on strengthening, stretching, and building up my confidence to get back to what I love.
If this injury has taught me any thing it’s to never take anything we do for granted. Love what you do everyday. Appreciate what an incredible blessing and journey that we have as photographers. That is fuel for my body and my SOUL. I am ready. Ready to strap on my backpack and head out to do what I love the most – explore the world and capture the beauty and art in nature.