[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 16 {215.5} “Physical Therapy Laser, Part 12”

Throughout my past twelve physical therapy sessions, I saw this shape on one of the doors in the main room resembling a target, and I found their design wasn’t just novelty on my penultimate visit to fix the mindbenders that had impaired the better part of three months. Strapping into a headlamp with a laser pointer, the goal was simple: move my head around within the target lines. This was the most challenging exercise yet!

By this essay’s publication, I may build one myself.

Headlamps themselves are easy to find and are cheap to buy in my area, but this had a laser pointer affixed to it, in what is apparently called a “laser headlamp” for physiotherapist use that retails for much more than that. If I feel like building a cheap option, I can practice keeping my head steady with a laser pointer headlamp, or I could probably just clip a laser pointer to the bill of my hat.

Either way, it was interesting to see how unsteady my head was.

This could be because, generally, we don’t need to have our heads moving exactly still, and this might end up being a superfluous thing, but I was still fascinated by the idea of how easily I could see that my neck muscles weren’t steady. No matter how much I practice my neck and shoulder stretches, just like with fitness in general, there’s room to grow. I don’t know how I’ll integrate stretching into my normal rowing routine. I have been trying to stretch my neck muscles more as I row, especially if I start feeling the pangs in my head that indicate that my back or neck posture could use some work.

I used to write more formalized column entries.

These would have shorter segments where I’d write how I was feeling about certain things, which is why my tag section is so wild, and then when I needed to conserve that time for other ventures, namely moving, I never revisited the idea. This column became a weekly chance to talk about my health, but now that I write about my mental health, per se, in five Sober Living essays weekly, the nature of this essay series may change, too. Just as now I have to incorporate stretches into my life daily, whether it’s as minor as stretching my neck, or as major as setting aside time to stretch as I row, these are new habits that should help prevent my health from regressing.

I say that all but I don’t feel that great right now.

When I’m done with this essay, I’ll skip rowing and probably go to sleep. I don’t have the energy for much more today. I could do better with my diet, I could row more, but at least I’m doing what I can to not push myself too hard through too much fatigue. I slept for five or so hours a few hours ago, so at least I’m not overexerting myself. Maybe what I’ll do, going forward, is separate these Rowing columns into parts? I thought about that for a moment and realized that it would be too much effort, plus, ideally, the evening sobriety essay should be tied into the health aspect of sobriety.

It doesn’t, then, need to be as formal as it used to be…

It was fun writing to certain topics weekly, though, and that means these essays will be less structured. Maybe it’s like the laser headlamp and target in PT, where it’s fun and challenging for a few minutes to do, then it gets tiring and tedious after a while. If it cost me $50 or so to acquire these tools, or $5 to build my own, would that be worthwhile if I only used it for a little bit? When I thought about how the laser pointer could just as easily affix to my hat, that, too, is like how the old structure was fun to work within but not as helpful as doing other exercises.

All the laser pointer does is show you your wobbly form.

All the headers did back in those old essays is help me stay focused on writing about certain topics, but as we’ve worked through the years of reading for you and writing for me, we can be honest with ourselves and say that the intention isn’t to rigorously explore topics, in-depth, but more explore topics as they relate to each other. Laser pointers don’t match well with well-structured essays in traditional literature, but we’re just having fun and exploring the limits of what we could consider publishable literature, anyways, so I don’t think it will be harmful to say that we should put both ideas on the backburner.

Maybe I’ll come up with another idea for both?

I’m writing this about a month before it publishes, so I could possibly have decided something for both the laser-pointer and writing structure deas, just as – were it not for the editing notes I left for myself for those thoughts – I could forget all about them as I do when I go back through essays that have sat in my backlog for weeks at a time. I write at such a fast pace that it’s not like I ever write garbage I forget I’m writing as I write it, but more, I don’t overly attach myself to what I write, other than holding attachment to it after I wrote it as something representing some thoughts I felt. I haven’t explored those structured essays in years, but it might be fun to read through them for inspiration for future essays. If not, then these essays will continue being broad-stroke analysis of general health topics, or a specific exploration of one idea, until I get bored. Either way, I like where these essays have gone, and I want to continue progressing toward better health, better writing, and part of that involves assessing where I’ll take my writing.

Currently, better writing and better health are my goals.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 215.5
Last week’s weight: 217.0
Difference: Since writing this essay, I had some headaches, but they were more spinally related than laser-pointer related. I dropped the laser-pointer idea but when I find mine again wherever it disappeared off to, I’ll probably clip it to my hat and start practicing. I’ve also been burning calories by counting them again.
Inspirations: I was going to ask about cracking my neck, but I think I’ll do that via email between now and my final session. After finding out about the laser headlamp, I thought back to my older essays, and the rest just came together.
Related: Past weekly column entries.  Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: One of the final instances of this template picture, I suppose.
Written On: 2020 March 13 [10:03am to 10:39am]
Last Edited: 2020 March 13 [First 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.