Wet Sponges and Suction Cups

It's not as kinky as you would think. But it sucks, it tingles, and it makes me feel good.

At seven weeks, it's been the longest period that I have gone with a bad back. Six weeks of physiotherapy, two massage-therapy sessions, and one bad experience with acupuncture. Overall, I know I'm getting better, but there are some days where I feel a setback.

It's usually my fault, something that I did to aggravate my back: I lift something too heavy; I attend a spin class before my body is ready; I sit funny; I walk far too long, usually with my camera bag strapped on my back.

That's the hardest one. I take my camera bag almost everywhere. I've participated in a photo walk through an icy mine; I've walked on the Rideau Canal; I wandered all over Qu├ębec City, for Carnaval, have ridden a rickety toboggan run and bounced down a snow slide in an inflated tube.

All with my camera equipment slung over my shoulder, pushing against my lower back.

I need to be smarter, need to be more selective of the equipment I carry. I don't always need to carry both flashes—sometimes, not even one. I need to think about where I'm going, what I plan to shoot. At Carnaval, I didn't need my telephoto lens, didn't need my micro lens. I only used my 50mm prime and my 10-20mm wide-angle lenses.

I could have cut the weight of my camera bag in half.

I need to be smarter. When I head to New York City, in a couple of weeks, I need to think about what I need and leave everything else behind.

Because as much as electrotherapy vacuum units feel good, as the current penetrates deeply into my muscles, as much as I like how I feel when I walk out of the physiotherapy clinic, wet sponges and suction cups are not what turn me on.

I want my pain-free back... back.

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