Injuries are no fun. They hurt. They limit our effectiveness in some areas. Many times, they take a good long while to heal. Injuries can, however, help us discover interesting things.
Recently, like within the last week, I did something that pulled a muscle in my left side under my upper arm. What did I do? I have no idea. I woke up one morning with a serious case of “Ow! That hurts!” It’s just now starting to fade away… slowly… like, you’ve seen faster glaciers, I’m sure.
This past week, I’ve discovered just how involved that muscle is in my daily life. Some things I expected. Like stretching upward with my left hand? *wince* You would think, then, that keeping my left arm tucked down by my side or across my abdomen would hurt less? No, still ow.
Picking up heavy stuff? Yep, ow. Expected that. Pushing or pulling something left-handed. Yikes! Don’t do it that way, either. Knew that was coming. Doing the same thing right-handed should be safe, right? Only for very light work. Otherwise …
Roll my shoulders back, ow. Roll them forward, still not a good idea.
Walking, especially at a good clip, even if I don’t swing my left arm … not advisable. Especially if I step upward, downward, or particularly hard with my right foot. That sounds weird, but I’m not totally surprised. After all, for most people, the left arm and right leg move together when we walk.
Why so many odd results? Well, just like the arm bone is connected to the hip bone eventually, so is the pectoral muscle is connected to the quadriceps, the long way around. Our bodies function as a detailed system with feedback loops over various sorts. Tension in one place is answered somewhere else.
So, injuries can lead to many paths of discovery, but I don’t have any plans to seek out more of those kinds of “learning experiences” any time soon.