I might not be very good at reading pain. I once had a root canal, and was able to stop taking the prescription medicine about 24 hours after the procedure, but if I step on a rock or tack or Lego brick, I'm out of commission and whining for about a week. Having had back problems long before I got fat, I'm never sure if twinges are telling me to take it easy for a little bit or that I need to move around more to keep from getting worse.
This is where I have found myself the past couple of days. I have consistently walked the route I set for myself when I began this "read-cation," and at the outset I feel like a rectangle of stone is pushing down my spine. Today, my ankle tried to tell me that it had been stuck above a thinning shoe on miles of uneven pavement for three days and wasn't taking the trip. I told it to shut up and come along.
but its scent was like shade
i heard wings above me
but when i looked up, only song
then i felt hammering in the distance
but could only find horses grazing
This circuit takes about hours to complete, depending on how many stops I make to take pictures. At some point, I realize I'm no longer hurting, or that the pain is bearable. When I finish, a shower helps. But not always. Soreness stays, as it sometimes does.
But that is the thing with pain. It is difficult to tell what is a warning and what is your body saying, "You are getting stronger." Even when something is broken or strained beyond capacity, the only thing to do is keep moving. Life does that shit to you.
Perhaps the question isn't when to keep going, but when to pause and for how long. And HOW. Today, after I'd been on the path for only a few minutes, panting because I knew I should have gone earlier in the morning, I thought to myself, "This is resting? This is my rest." Then a large bird was flying overhead. Was it a buzzard? Doesn't matter.