When Reece was very little, but before we moved here, I had one of the most (if not THE most) painful things happen to me. I’ve largely avoided serious injuries in my life, which is amazing given I’ve played sports my entire life. So of course I injure my back doing something embarrassingly normal: stepping out of the shower. It was a sharp, stabbing pain in my lower back that forced me to the ground and had to crawl to move.
Why am I bringing up my old-man back? Well, this exact back pain has happened three times since, most recently keeping me from going to Disney World with the family. But when it first happened after moving to Alabama, I thought it’d help to make a change in office furniture for my desk, so I bought a huge exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair.
For a while I thought it was helpful. I had to pump air into it every few weeks or so, but that was no big deal. It was oddly comfortable, and impossible not to lightly bounce around on. Honestly, if it had handles like the bouncy balls they used to make (maybe they still make them), I would’ve annoyed the shit out of everyone bouncing all over the office.
Then the fateful day arrived: August 25th, 2015. I recall it being sometime in the afternoon, with only a few of us at our desks at the time. I’m just sitting there, minding my damn business, and POW!!!!!!!!!!! The piece of shit ball explodes underneath my heavy, dresspant-covered ass. The noise sounded eerily close to that of a middle-school face getting demolished by an accelerating dodgeball. That gym school floor screech-type noise. It happened really fast, but every time I recall it in my head, it’s a Hollywood movie slow-mo car crash scene. I tumbled down and backwards onto the floor, with confusion and hot red anger, my arms swinging like I’m an Olympic backstroke swimmer trying to medal for the first time. And then it immediately became the funniest shit to ever happen.
Think about how funny it is when someone falls backwards from an office chair; not much is funnier than that. Now picture someone at the gym using an exercise ball COMPLETELY wrong, and you know it, but can’t bring yourself to tell them. Mash those two together and I would imagine that’s what it looked like. Nobody else saw it happen, but they definitely heard it. Here is the aftermath, which I brought home to show Jessika. Who knew my butt worked much like a switch blade.
When it comes to my back pain, I think my problem has been how easily I forget just how bad the pain is when it happens. It eventually goes away and then becomes a past-Stephen problem. Then I lean down to pick up a laundry basket and fall directly into it, writhing in pain. Jessika was sweet enough to create this graphic for me. I thought perhaps if I had a daily reminder of what the hell the pain was like, I’d be more motivated to do something about it. And I thought it’d be funny to include a picture of my x-ray of my lower back / upper ass. My chiropractor gave me a few recommendations that could help me avoid future back pain. Jessika made it look good and framed it.
One last recommendation: if you want a big ball as an office chair, don’t use a cheap exercise ball. It will betray you.