[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 22 {210.0} “Rowing Back Motivation”

It’s tough to get the motivation to do much of anything when my back, shoulders, neck, and therefore head all hurt to such a degree that I lose any creativity or ability to think with any nuance or mulit-task-icity… There’s not much I can do without drastic changes to everything, so I’ve just stopped rowing for a few days, and have done what I’ve could to rest my back. It’s been helpful but only somewhat.

My work-from-home workstation doesn’t let me sit down at all without shuffling everything.

It was fine the first few weeks but now my back has too much pressure on it, so it’s hard for me to focus on anything besides that. I can’t sit down because that means I can’t work, and we’re not even talking about writing here, because we now have a special project to fill all of our time – and when it’s busy like it was to kick-start this whole headached pain, I had no chance to stretch my back to relieve it for hours on end.

I am not feeling well, but I’m feeling about as well as I can feel.

My lower back feels sore. How I’m standing, I am leaning my shoulders back, which is helping my shoulders, neck, and upper parts of my back, but hurting my lower back. If I lean forward, that relieves the pressure on my lower back, but it’s more difficult to type and is putting pressure on my shoulders, neck, and upper back. There is no real win for me here with this configuration. It will probably be fine for a few hours a day, but over the weeks I’ve been working at this make-shift set of boxes at even ergonomic height, it’s just not working.

I’m not sure what to do here.

It would be difficult to replicate the sit/stand qualities of my work-in-the-office workstation with my existing resources and I don’t have a good chair for sitting in for hours at a time. The chair I use for my avocational laptop has been insufficient for years. I’ve thought of buying a new office chair, and while I’m sure they can still be made available, with current events, it’s become increasingly more worrisome to buy anything – even online.

It should be fine…

Everything hurts right now, though, and I can’t sit down. I can muster through this minor pain for only so much time before it gets to a point where it’s unbearable. The more I muster through, too, the worse I feel. Mainly physically, but also psychologically, I don’t like how I’m feeling right now. There is too much stress on my back for me to tolerate right now. Maybe if I focus on this whole other project we’re required to do, it’ll help? Oh, wait, I have a headache that’s distracting me from too much thought… Well, I’ll have to try anyways…

Completely focusing on something new to learn only invites in the headache further.

I’m having trouble concentrating on even simple directions and processes through all this. It’s just light enough of a pain to be a minor distraction that, six months ago, I would have pushed through because why not push through it? The problem is that this, which was once a yellow flag or a mild inconvenience, is about as much of a red flag as my body will throw before I can’t do anything anymore at all. I’m already feeling the same lack of focus I did at the heights of my headaches. I’ll try to focus more.

I gave it an earnest try before my back started distracting me.

Is this going to be my life going forward? I can’t row at the rates I want to anymore – and not even at a hard pace, either – because it’ll cause my head to scratch like it’s doing now, which points to back and shoulder pains? When I do my neck PT, I feel the tightness in my back. Laying on the roller ball here in a few minutes is what I’ll need to do to feel better – or try.

I was supposed to be done with these headaches months ago!

I won’t get any relief here. Will I need to return to work to use their ergonomic equipment? When I write at home, I can sit in my avocational chair well enough, but I don’t have the stress of the work-from-home work causing immediacy in what I must do. My brain is spinning faster than any laptop trying to process all the data I need to process to do what I need to – because I’ve already been talked to about working too slowly. There’s too much pressure.

I’m laying on my foam roller now.

I have two. One that I’m laying on from head-to-butt and the smaller one propping up the curve in my spine. It’s relieving the pressure, but only somewhat. If I were in the office, I would be sitting for the next week. I could, then, take down all the boxes and sit, but the chairs I have are inadequate to unacceptable for my long-term use in high-stress environments.

I’m doing all that I can with my available tools.

I’m now feeling the burdens of my work-from-home situation and I’m not sure there’s any relief. Something big has to change. I’ve spent too much time recently in escapist media, which is fine in short bursts, but here is symptomatic of larger problems. I don’t know what the future holds, but I sure don’t want it to involve being in constant pain.

Even with those two foam rollers, I feel only momentary relief.

I am eating more now to cope with the stress of my back. I saw this upward caloric intake trend months ago. I’m better suited to control that, but then that will manifest elsewhere, which is not what I want. These essays should be mostly uplifting. This one has not been.

If there is a bright side, I’m working toward it.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness and professional experiences.
This week’s weight: 210.0
Last week’s weight: 213.5
Difference: I’m 20 pounds away from my year’s goal and 10 pounds away from the goal I started when I weighed 267 pounds. It’s been quite a journey we’ve been on. Burning off 57 pounds without surgery or any massive lifestyle changes, just minor incremental changes, with all of that information written in extensive detail about what I did and what I was going through should be helpful for others. If not, then hey, thanks for reading.
Inspirations: Writing about how I feel is always easy when I go over difficult thoughts.
Related: Past weekly column entries and the Tripping On The American Healthcare System essays.
Pictures: Rowing template rather than ST template.
Written On: 2020 April 17 [From 12:24am to “I’ll have to try anyways” at 12:39am. From 12:40am to “I’ll try to focus more” at 12:42am. From 12:46am to “There’s too much pressure.” at 12:51am. From 12:55am to “but I sure don’t want it to involve being in constant pain” at 1:02am. From 1:09am to 1:11111111111111111am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 April 17 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, 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.