I knew I was in trouble as soon as I walked in the door of the bar for the networking event. I felt a twinge in my back, which I knew very shortly was going to turn into a spasm.
When I had left work about 90 minutes earlier, my back was tired but didn't really hurt. Sitting in stop and go traffic for the next 75 minutes took my back from tired to that exhausted weak state that always leads to pain.
I debated about leaving, but I had paid for the ticket earlier in the day, was already parked and going to owe money for that and was already there. I figured I would try to stay and see if I could salvage anything out of it.
I was lucky, in a crowded bar, to find a bench seat against the wall. By the time I sat down, my back was already starting to spasm.
One of the problems with attending networking events in San Francisco is that while I've done a pretty good job making connections in the Silicon Valley, I know very few people in San Francisco doing social media — and especially very few in the social entrepreneur space. There was not a face I knew in the very large crowd.
I sat against that wall for almost an hour and the only person that came over to say hi was the event photographer who gave me a hard time about using my phone.
By the time my back had calmed down, the presentation had started. I made it through that (where I was sitting, it would have been nearly impossible to get out the door) and then introduced myself to one of the founders of the company. Just standing for a few minutes to meet her had my back feeling aggravated again, so I said hello to a couple of new people and then made my way to the door.
This is just one of the challenges of dealing with working and doing things related to work while also dealing with pain. Tonight, the pain won more than the networking. But, I showed up and gave my card to the one main person who needed to get it.