(Toledo, OH) I have a tendency to stubbornly hold fast to wisdom passed on to me by my parents and grandparents, and one of the most enduring of the philosophical traditions I have inherited involves physical labor.
A belief system something along the lines of "hard work builds character" and "no pain, no gain," I have learned that perseverance and pushing beyond one's endurance point brings greater rewards.
Though I have garnered an extra twenty pounds in my midsection, I still pride myself on being willing and able to perform heavy lifting and the grunt jobs that need to get done. Such was the case Monday when I helped my 18-year-old son move a weighty couch up a flight of stairs, around some nasty turns, and into his apartment.
Alas, my back has been acting up since that day, and my university treks with 40 pounds of audio-visual equipment across campus have been cumbersome.
That is, until I today commited (for me) the ultimate in wimpy responses: I used the wheels on my laptop bag.
Now, I do not begrudge anyone who makes use of such conveniences, as they were designed to assist people in transporting heavy loads across long distances. I do not expect that my own personal, neurotic Stoic tendencies should be embraced by others.
But my lower back burned with the searing pain of a likely pulled muscle (or herniated disc, but I am too filled with machismo to actually seek medical advice), and...I wheeled my bag.
I did carry the second bag containing a projector over my shoulder, mind you, so I did not completely forsake my philosophy of pain and steadfastness, but I allowed myself the luxury of wheeling the 20-pound bag behind me.
And, imagine - I arrived at class without sweating, or being winded from walking up the stairs with my instructional tools. Imagine that!
Now if I can just get past my hangup over cutting my own grass...