Throwing out my back can only mean one thing...

I have never had back problems. Sure, it can get sore from time to time after exercise or moving large objects. But nothing out of the ordinary.

That changed one recent morning when I tweaked my back putting on my socks.

Yes, putting on my socks.

It hurt so bad I nearly tumbled to the ground. I sat there, on one knee, panting like I had just wrestled a salmon out of the mouth of a hungry grizzly, and wondered if I would ever walk again.

My wife yelled out from the other room.

“Did I hear a little girl crying?”

“I’m fine, babe. I just, ah, was doing a little drywall work in here!”

“At 6 in the morning?”

Well, turns out I could walk fine. Sure, getting up caused considerable pain for a few days. And I did hobble around like I had been hit by a runaway moose for a time. But here I am a couple of weeks later and I’m no worse for the wear.

I will tell you, however, that was not my finest moment. And it made me wonder: If putting on my socks can cause me that much pain, I wonder what shoveling snow off the front walk might do to me this winter? Or cleaning the gutters next spring. Or yelling at neighborhood kids to get off my lawn?

I am used to the snap, crackle and pop of my knees when I get up. And my terrible tennis elbow in my right arm from last summer jumped to my left arm this year, giving me some very painful days.

But this is a sure sign that my body was sending me a message loud and clear. I simply can’t ignore the signs any longer, and I need to just accept reality.

The fact is, I obviously need a new guitar.

I know, right? How could I have missed the signs for so long? You, my friendly reader, knew where this was going the whole time. But it took me a bit longer to figure it all out.

Back hurts? New guitar! Elbow issues? New guitar! Giant growth on your left ear? In that case, go to the doctor. After that, New guitar!

The truth is, nothing makes me feel better than a new guitar. Nothing makes me feel more youthful. Nothing makes me feel more alive. Nothing makes me forget that I am at the age where I can hobble myself by putting on my socks like a new guitar.

Look, I haven’t even purchased a new guitar in months. Months! And I only have eight of them at home now, so it is obvious that I need another one.

I don’t need Web MD, or a heating pad or Ben Gay when I have a Guitar Center just a couple of miles from my house. Am I right?

The point here, is that you have to listen when your body is trying to tell you something. If you are the finely-tuned human machine that I am, you can just sense what that something is. And in this case, it is clear to me that my body is saying, “Dude, you totally need a new guitar.”

I agree, body. I agree.

Now where did I put my socks?