Posts tagged ‘Posture’

October 4, 2011

Misaligned

Anyone who knows me or has met me in person knows that I have back problems.  Now when I say I have back problems, I mean I have BACK problems.  Most people who think or say they have back problems, are actually just referring to some aches and pains experienced the morning after a rough night of sleep.  That’s not exactly what I’m referring to here.

In high school, my parents insisted that I go see a chiropractor because they were fed up with having to constantly nag about my slumping posture.  I’m pretty stubborn and am more than positive that there’s nothing wrong, but I myself was fed up with their nagging; so relent to their wishes.  When we get to the chiropractor’s office, we take some initial X-rays to see what the “damage” was.  The results left me speechless.  There are a couple moments in your life when you’re proved wrong, you know you’ve been proved wrong, and you think in your head “GG pwn.”  This was one of those moments for me.

I wish I still had the X-rays around to prove to you that I wasn’t lying, but my spine honestly looked like one of those game board paths that you see in Candyland or The Game of Life.  My lower back jutted one way, the upper back was curving another way, all the while my neck was cocked on an angle that I was pretty sure it wasn’t suppose to.  The doctor looks at me and says:

“This is a problem.”

My doctor said that luckily we caught the problem early (I was a teenager at the time), or else it would have caused serious problems later down the road into my 40s and 50s.  The next ensuing months consisted of weekly meetings where my realignment therapy took place.  He would lie me on his table and crack my back and neck in specific places (which I enjoyed a lot because I grew to be a “bone cracking” junkie by that point in my life).  Beyond our once a week meetings, my doctor “prescribed” some at-home exercises and postures that I could practice to help slowly straighten out my back.

Although I haven’t seen a chiropractor again since high school, I constantly find myself in a slouching position and having to intentionally straighten out my back and shoulders.  For me though, my slouch is my natural and most comfortable stance.  I’ve been made fun of so much for it.  The best way I can describe it is if you’ve ever watched any of the MIB: Men in Black movies (starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones) and know who the Worms are (pictured above), that’s my slouch at it’s finest.  Often people ask me how tall I am, and when I reply with a confident: 5’9″, they either laugh or give me a dirty look.  Sadly, my slouch causes me to lose about 2 or 3 inches than I really am, so I fall back into the “average Asian guy” height category.

While I’m studying at my desk, driving in my car, or if a cute girl happens to walk by, I have to mindfully straighten out my posture (haha, that last one was a joke… probably).  I default to my slouch, and a correct posture has to be made on a proactive level from my part.  Why bother to share all this?

Gospel Connection: For those of us who grew up in a Christian background, “the Gospel” is a term that is loosely thrown around.  Most people know that it literally means “Good News” and refers to the Bible’s account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  However, in the banality of our daily grinds and drawn-out familiarity with the Christian message, many will say, “Sure, I know the Gospel.”  When in fact, it is in the moment that someone says that very phrase that they find themselves in- what I’m deeming as- their “faith slouch.”  If we are to truly comprehend the implications of the Gospel, there has to be a constant, intentional, and proactive realignment of our lives to its message.  The paradigmatic nature of the Incarnation, the scandal of the Cross, and perpetual hope we find in the Resurrection are each things that transcend human capacity.  If we aren’t daily straightening out our faiths to the contours of its content, we are left with nothing but a lazy, crooked, and no-good-down-the-road slouch.

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