[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 11 {218.0} “Stretch Out Stress”

I missed rowing. I missed the notion of getting on my rower twice-daily and getting some of my physical stress out. It was never that much, especially lately, since I didn’t want to burn myself out. Now that we’ve figured out my neck was the source of my headaches, and my neck stretches are helping to fix the issue, I’m back and feeling better than ever. I’ll need to work on figuring out more stretches.

The lat pulldown might be the most helpful.

I notice that my shoulder blades are stiff, so I’m trying to work my shoulders more, and when I go back in for my next physical therapy session, I’ll ask about more exercises that can target my upper back. The seat on my rower is rather tall, so it feels weird to pull the bar as low as suggested, but I think getting the hang of that along with stretching more throughout the day will help.

I had a hamstring pull about ten years ago that had ironed itself out less than two years ago.

After that, I learned the value of stretching my leg muscles, and do so frequently now. My back and neck muscles, though, must have suffered. Maybe after wrapping up physical therapy, I should join a gym just so I can meet with a personal trainer to address these stretches? It’s definitely more expensive than just dropping by for an insurance-discounted visit to stretch out my weakest muscles. I could probably research some of this myself online, but, without the accountability of going somewhere and talking to someone, it’s easy to forget things.

I haven’t been logging into my account to record my stretches.

Still, I do them, or at least, the ones that have helped me the most. The one I’ve done the least is keeping my elbows at my side and twisting my hands out because although it does help to get some muscles stretched out, I haven’t felt as much of a burn from that as any of the neck stretches I’ve been practicing. I did that stretch now without the rubber band now and I could see some benefits, especially with my upper back muscles, so I just did some lat pulldowns with my rubber band and that seemed to help reduce some of the feeling of I guess inflammation in my upper back.

I’ll need to learn more stretches and practice them more frequently.

Fortunately, many of these stretches are casual things that can be done once or twice while talking to people or sitting somewhere, so it’s not like I need to dedicate hours of time to stretching. If anything, the formal setting of doing ten reps, twice, of things is just a formal way to get the form down. The rest can be achieved just by doing once or three of the same motion.

I spent the last half-hour doing random stretches while talking to people.

My neck currently feels sore so I’ll work on that here next. My spine feels that same way so I’ll stretch it as I can until it doesn’t feel so sore. When everything feels in a good arrangement, that’s when I’ll let everything rest for a while. I think the problem was that I let things rest for too long. Maybe my muscles atrophied? Maybe I didn’t stretch enough. I think everything at my desk at work was too tall so it was putting pressure on muscles and overworking them more than they needed. This is just based on a follow-up ergonomic assessment and I’m just one full day into it, so we’ll have to see based on the number of days since my last headache, and if it’s more than a week with more than one stressful caller, then I’ll know for sure that we found the root cause.

Even if it’s something else, a majority of my headaches have gone away.

The occasional mild headache is nothing now for me. I can take them in stride, if I even notice them, which is something I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been suffering from so many different types of overwhelming headaches over the past three months, and throughout my life various minor headaches, that I wonder if I would even recognize minor headaches now? I moved my shoulder blades, pinching my back muscles, almost like a chicken flapping its wings, and it felt good. I may do that more often just for fun, even if it means I embarrass myself.

I’d rather act embarrassingly than be overwhelmed with a headache.

In the upcoming weeks, especially as I ramp down my physical therapy, I’ll probably use this essay slot to write about things related to stretching and fitness that can resolve issues related to my headaches more in general, before returning to writing about rowing more in-depth, if I ever did at all. I enjoyed the idea of just getting on the rower and going, but that lack of discipline toward stretching all my major and minor muscles might have caused me to get into the shape I was in [both in terms of BMI and headaches] and am struggling to get out of now.

If so, it’s good to know, so I can stop advocating a one-stop-shop lifestyle.

I’ll have to think about this more, but should I even continue calling these essays “Rowing Machine?” It may be better to acknowledge other fitness exercises and other ways to improve your health than just one machine. Rowers are still fantastic machines, but there’s a limit to how much I should rely on them for fitness. If I improve my posture, stretch properly, and work out all my muscles in good ways, then I can probably row more than I ever have before, and think clearer than I ever have before, too, based on the notion of healthy body, healthy mind. Getting there will still require work, time, and effort.

However, there’s no better goal than stretching out the stress from life.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 218.0 pounds
Last week’s weight: 218.5 pounds
Difference: I weighed myself before peeing and my weight was 221.5 pounds, then I dropped down to 218.0. I’m going to make sure I don’t dehydrate to get better stats, which started with this week, where I made sure to drink enough water to feel satiated.
Inspirations: Thinking about physical therapy.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template picture.
Written On: 2020 February 15 [24 minutes. 2:01am “my upper back muscles” to 2:09am, then from 2:41am to “three of the same motion” 2:45am. Then from 3:19am to 3:33am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 February 27 [Second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.