Amor Fati

Stoics have the expression ‘amor fati’ – a love of fate. According to Ryan Holiday’s ‘Daily Stoic‘, it’s not just accepting, it’s loving everything that happens.

For a some months now I’ve been struggling with my back. I’ve had it checked a few times so I’m pretty sure that it’s muscular rather than a problem with my discs or my spine. But it can be really annoying.

I’ve always considered myself quite fit. I enjoy out door running (none of this indoor treadmill stuff thanks).

Before these back niggles I was running most days and only having occasional problems with injury.

This back thing is a real nuisance. It was starting to get me down.

Here’s the thing. I can either moan and groan and ‘take it easy’ because I’ve got a back problem.

Or I can accept it and enjoy the challenge of finding a way to deal with it.

I choose that.

I’d be lying if I said that I love my back hurting. But now that it does, I’m okay with finding my own way to manage it.

In August I signed up for 12 weekly sessions with Andy, a Bristol ex-gymnast who runs a gym that focuses on back problems and building core strength.

Gradually I’m discovering what works for me. And what doesn’t. Paying more attention to my body. I’m searching for a simple, effective routine. I’m not there yet.

But I’ve worked a few things out.

For example, I know that if I do some stretching and mobility exercises just before I get in bed at night that helps. And if I do the same within a few minutes of getting up in the morning.

And using a foam roller helps too. So on holiday this week, I’ve brought a tennis ball with me to use as a (very painful) alternative foam roller for my glutes.

I’m also trying hard to resist the temptation to make excuses, to keep up with my morning runs.

I recognise that there’s some fear involved. And I know that when I first start running, my back will feel tight and niggly. Which makes me worry that I’m causing more damage.

But. I also know to remind myself that if I start off really slowly, it gradually eases up and I will be able to run without noticing it too much. And, that it’s okay to walk for a while if I need to.

Amor fati.



Have you read yesterday’s post? Relaxed and Peaceful. Just Doing Us.




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