Counting blessings

When you go to a lot of Magic tournaments in the same area you're bound to run into the same people over and over again. Sometimes there are new (or at least new-to-you) faces, but sometimes it's a fairly solid crowd that you've seen before.

Yesterday I was at a Sealed PPTQ. I went 2-3. That's like my fucking mantra at this point. But that is neither here nor there.

There's this guy I see a lot at PPTQs. I've never actually played against him, so I don't know his name. But every time I see him I count my blessings and am reminded of some important things.

While the majority of players sit down, he has to stand.

He has a, well I guess the word is stand, and uses that on top of the table to play. His opponent might sit, or might stand and use something to play on top of. Sometimes I’ve seen this guy lift up his shirt to scratch himself (This makes me sound more like a pervert than just something I've seen by chance.) and he's wearing a back brace.

Every single time I see this man I adjust my posture a little bit and try to be more conscious of how I’m sitting.

I have been typing since around age eight or so. I wanted a typewriter for, I believe, my eighth birthday so bad. I got one. I also had access to a Commodore 64. In 1995 or so we got our first PC, a Windows machine with, guess what? Windows 95. It was the “family” computer but I commandeered it pretty hard. When I went to high school I started taking programming classes and that led, weirdly, to where I am now.

But even as a teacher, I type out all my class notes. My freelance translation is a lot of typing. I still program. And I just use my computer for lots of communication. During summer and other long vacations sometimes I don't use my voice at all. (This is one of the reasons I started my YouTube series An Honest Five.) I type to lots of people though.

This all goes to say that I haven't had any wrist or finger injuries at all. Either I’m doing it right, still young enough or extremely lucky. I'd wager it's a mix of all three and some stuff that I don't exactly know.

I do have a bad back. I don't know if I am misremembering this because it sounds kind of weird to say but I remember being told by the doctor that my spine is “a little too straight”. Not bad enough to require surgery, but they could have done it. I do recall hearing that it would have been risky (at the time?). This came about after one night of bowling with my grade-school’s bowling team and then me being unable to sleep because of back pain. Not something you expect an eleven-year-old to endure. I remember “sleeping” on the couch that night and going to the doctor the next day.

X-rays, talking, pamphlets featuring old people laying on the ground and squeezing their buttocks. I never got into that stretching routine. I probably should have. I still get some back aches now and a again. Rarely is it as debilitating as that one night back in 1993, but sometimes it hurts bad.

And then I have to remember that I’m still pretty lucky. No RSI, no back braces. But I probably slouch a little. I could stand to improve my posture a bit. I sit a lot for playing Magic and when I stream and probably could have a better layout. I don't actually have a desk, I just have a table on the floor and a legless chair. I doubt that's good posture making with my legs stretched out under the desk and weirdly positioned because there's not enough space.

I need to move somewhere nicer. Eventually. That's not going to be an easy process. But that's another story for another time.

Anyway, I see this guy standing. He's still out playing Magic. He gets by. I’m sure it sucks though but it's nice to see someone making it through their issues and a reminder that I am a lucky boy and should try and take advantage of that as best I can.