Like many people my age, I got hooked on computers early on in my life. I remember playing games like Dangerous Dave, Monster Bash and Commander Keen, which led to Dota 2, League of Legends and others today.
I also was a pretty big journal kid. My parents divorced early, and I spent a lot of time writing out feelings because the privacy was attractive. Something secret, safe and secure meant that I could just vent. I felt like a spy, carrying important thoughts and information with me in a book.
The two combined, and here I am, writing. The problem, through, is that the last year has spawned issues with my hands. I sit down at a desk, start working or playing, then realize that pain is an inevitability. The back of my hands burn. My joints ache. My fingertips get numb.
Coming from someone who sees my grandma’s arthritic fingers stick out at odd angles, this is terrifying.
The easy thing (and what most people suggest) is breaks, but it feels like I cannot afford them. I have no complaints about my job, as they have been accommodating — what sucks is just a feeling of helplessness.
Silent keys means you’re not writing. Silent keys means you’re not playing. Silent keys means you’re not improving. Silent keys mean that other people are getting ahead.
As a tall guy at six-foot-three, it’s hard to make things comfortable . Chairs, desks and monitors are all too short. I’ve had to improvise with phone books, exercise balls or jury-rigged shelving. It reminds me that my body is weird, non-standard, and clumsy. I don’t fit. Breaks exacerbate this.
If you’re trying to correct years of bad posture, the pain on back, wrists and neck can be a bit of a shock. You make these changes and tell yourself that it’ll pay off in the long run, but it’s easy to fall back into comfortable habits to stop pain.
But if you’re in my position, where your hands are your life, there can’t be a compromise. It’s either fix this, or shorten your time doing what you enjoy. It’s a tough choice, but a necessary one: I cannot afford to give up now, or leave the game early. I have a responsibility to myself to keep living this dream I’ve earned for myself while still having a (relatively) pain-free future.
It’s time to sit up straight.
Matt Demers is a Supervising Editor for theScore eSports. He enjoys tea and hip hop. Follow him on Twitter.