No, someone isn't out to bump you off, at least I hope not. I'm talking about your literal back.
Last week, it was time to clean out the chimney flue so the woodstove could be started up again with colder weather coming. I got up on the roof and lowered the rope down the flue for my wife to grab at the cleanout door near the ground. She then pulled the brush attached to the rope down the flue. When it bottomed out I had to pull it back up. Normally, about 4 or 5 times is enough to clean the creosote buildup off the flue surface. However, I had one obstacle to deal with - we still have an antenna attached to the chimney, and I had to bend over to position myself between the antenna and the chimney top. Last year was no problem, but this year the brush hung up at the bottom. With the brush stuck I had to pull really hard in a bent over position to free it up, ending up straining my lower back in the process. It was sore and a little stiff at first. Then, later in the week I had to pick up firewood, haul it around in a wheelbarrow, and stack it. That was the straw that broke the Pram's back! The next day I was hurting a lot more, to the point I had to take prescription pain relievers on and off in order to go through my normal daily routine, and be able to sleep at night. Even if my wife still wanted to spoon I couldn't have this past week - had to lie flat on my back to be comfortable.
It's gradually getting better this week, fortunately. I'm trying to recoup completely before fooling with anymore firewood. It just hit home how careful you have to be with your back, especially when you get older, and how you need to position yourself correctly to do any heavy work. I've worked with guys who have really messed their backs up badly and have to live off of muscle relaxers and narcotic pain killers. Don't even want to go there! Please be careful with your back because once it's damaged it'll never be the same again.
Come next Fall, I'm going to take the antenna down first to be able to stand up straight, even if it takes longer to get the flue cleaning chore done!