getback™ Co-Founder Geoffrey Mackay reflects on life from ‘both sides’ and how to approach ‘living every day’.
Recently in a social media feed I was reminded of the powerful lyrics of singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s track ‘Both Sides Now’.
In the lyrics Mitchell poetically compares childlike wonder to the harsh reality of life as we mature. When Mitchell was younger clouds were ‘rows and flows of angel hair’ and as she grew, they became ‘rain and snow on everyone’.
The stark contrast of Life and Love led Mitchell to fully bare the emotional weight of this song, admitting she doesn’t understand either.
It is very personal how you unpack ‘Both Sides Now’ because it leaves many doors open to compare facets of life on different levels.
The song leaves me comparing one of the great facets of my life – exercise, and how I could separate the desires of Heart from the logics of Head. When we are able, the desires of the heart lead us to faster, longer and stronger aims but as we age the Head says ‘less is best’.
We grow up through our teens playing sports and exercising in a functional way. Exercises match our every movement and we extend ourselves to find our limits of endurance and strength.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), strains and sprains are indicators of how far we push our boundaries and in some ways are welcome experiences, indicating commitment and effort. The effort controller is often blurred by desires, wants, dreams and as Mitchell puts it, ‘Don’t give yourself away.’
However, as ‘Ice cream castles’ melt and the ‘fairy tale’ fades we are left with morning stiffness and sore joints. Memories of greatness are replaced by the daily grind of an ageing body and the cascading effect of comorbidity associated with lack of mobility.
While many of these ageing experiences take a toll on individuals, I don’t believe that they should take the enjoyment and colour out of life. Today, we are fortunate to be blessed with modern medicine and continuing research which enables us to live long and healthy lives.
While Joni Mitchell does not understand Life nor Love, I feel confident to say that after 35 years as a therapist, targeted and supported strength training, as delivered by getback, can help you in ‘living every day’ by overcoming chronic back pain.
getback™ helps you keep the colour in life and enables you to be consumed by Love, by giving back your strength and mobility and minimising pain.