[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 24 {205.0} “Back At Rest”

I haven’t rowed in eleven days. Until today*, my lower spine has been unreliable with not reacting in pain to any major movements. I often woke up sore or hurting. Sometimes, I woke up, then went back to bed. I haven’t even been able to call up my physical therapist’s office to schedule an appointment. I believe I have twelve appointments for this new symptom, but only now am I feeling like acting on it.

*I wrote this essay on April 29.

I’ve been doing as much as I can to calm my back through all of this. I’ve remained mostly sedentary and have avoided eating too much to make sure I don’t put on weight. My muscles will probably need to be warmed up for some time after I get back on the rower. I don’t think I’ll want to do that for at least another week.

It’s not as terrible a pain as my mindbender headaches earlier this year.

Still, it’s enough of an inconvenience to stop me in my tracks. To think that we can do things like this to ourselves without much more than just being uncareful with our bodies over a few weeks of time. My standing workstation area I wrote about weeks ago seemed great. I enjoyed it for the first few weeks, too, but then I suppose the pressure of standing for 40 hours each week, even if I relaxed my spine throughout my breaks and lunches, was enough to pinch the wrong nerves. I had a sit/stand workstation at work, but I could easily sit or stand with just a minute transition.

Soon, I’ll use the standing workstation as my short-term media watching station.

I might use that area to watch shows, or when my back improves, write an essay or do something in those regards. I like the idea of having two computers and two separate areas because of redundancy and to avoid staying in one area for too long. I am locking myself into my chair, here, so that way my spine can relax and occasionally find the points it needs to crack to further relax itself, but it’s also putting pressure on my wrists. So it’s a weird, delicate balance I need to work through.

I had been deciding whether I wanted to go out for a drive today or not.

After I finish this essay, I’ll call my physical therapist office to schedule an appointment, then I’ll throw out some trash and go out for a drive. I don’t think I’ll go too far, but far enough to warm up my car, get outside myself for a little while, and not really stretch my legs, so maybe stretch my mind? I don’t have enough stuff to donate, like I had wanted, but over the better part of the last week, I’ve been almost completely immobile, so it makes sense that I wouldn’t feel much like moving things around – including my body.

I’m not sure what I want to go out to see today.

All of the parks are closed and I don’t want to go to any stores unnecessarily for as long as we don’t have a cure or prevention for COVID-19. I can stay safe while donating stuff at trailers because there’s minimal contact involved, but being in an enclosed building can be risky. I’ve thought of driving to Seattle to see how some parts of town look, but I don’t have any plans in mind, so I’ll leave those journalistic efforts to braver or less-impaired individuals.

I’ll drive near the airport.

I’ve heard that plane traffic has been minimal or non-existent around the world. It might be interesting seeing how much traffic there is around. I just heard, through O.S.T.R., an airplane flying in the background of my open sliding glass door, so there will be airplane traffic outside. I’m not sure what kind of story I’d be chasing there, but it’s something that will get me looking outside the apartment-mansion.

I see a box I can use to make a small donation.

If I don’t encounter any open donation trailer, then I can just leave that box in the trunk. I realize that these are tangential thoughts, but I guess I brainstorm stuff like this on the rower if I’m brainstorming anything at all. I miss the opportunities I have to relax my mind while rowing, but I have to make sure I relax my back first, because I imagine that I can row a light set right now and not feel any pains from that tomorrow, but I’d rather wait. If I can avoid it, why not, right?

Driving replicates much of that brainstorming time as rowing.

When I row and drive, I don’t have the ability to interrupt my set/drive to take some notes, so I either have to develop them more fully to remember them or hope that I can remember them until I can document them.

My mind wandered to this thought:

While I went out for a leisurely walk a few days ago, I haven’t gone out for a drive in nearly a week. I haven’t felt like doing either for a while, and when I go out for drives now, I’m not often successful in finding parking spots to soak in the new sights. It’s often just me driving, maybe taking a photo, and moving on. Depending on how I feel during my drive, I might do the same. My car seat is, at least, ergonomically comfortable for me so it should be a nice time. I don’t quite have my route in mind yet, but I’ll decide on that after I finish this essay, so I don’t find myself driving for hours only to get home, bathe, and not do much of anything. I guess that would be the same as rowing to exhaustion while having some back problems. It would be easy to do and not effective for my long-term health.

Still, a little rowing or driving shouldn’t hurt…

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 205.0
Last week’s weight: 209.5
Difference: I’m not exactly concerned with this weight drop because I’ve done over the years, but it does remind me that I am not feeling well overall.
Inspirations: The title was just an idle thought.
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Picture: Generic.
Written On: 2020 April 29 [10:12am – first sentence. 1:28pm to 2pm while listening to O.S.T.R..]
Last Edited: 2020 April 29 [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.