[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week “53” {218.5} “2021 In Preview”

Last night, I was watching Cody from Pink Gorilla do a few skateboarding tricks on his half-pipe, and although it pains me to consider it this way, the most physicality I can hope for going forward is a pain-free existence. If I am the luckiest human being to have ever lived throughout all of humanity, I might be fortunate enough to partake in certain physical activities like walking more than a mile, but skateboarding? Doubtful.

I own a longboard that I last used a few years ago.

I enjoyed the experience. There was about a thirty-second window where I felt free from my more traditional physicality of walking-based transportation. I had just got the hang of it when I found myself going downhill at a pace where my body and board weren’t synced up and I crashed. It didn’t hurt that much, other than my pride and my pants, but that was the last time I rode that longboard other than using it as a bit of a balance practicer.

If my health is ever restored, I can never, in good faith, longboard again.

I don’t mean to be overly dramatic. My only reason for doing so is to properly convey the sensations I feel on a daily basis. I hate waking up. In my dreams, I go around and perform scenes from imaginary literature or otherwise reframe realistic events in ways to better understand them, and these dreams don’t register any physical pain. From the moment I first wake up until I sleep, my body is bombarded with constant pain sensations that put a damper on anything else. Food is less delicious when dealing with pain. Media is less enjoyable when perceived through the lens of chronic pain.

Why would I do anything that could possibly put me into worse pain?

It’s with that perspective where I realize that I will never be able to “get good” at anything overly physical again. I had wanted to learn to longboard as an activity I could enjoy for both covering short distances quickly and exploring. Years ago now, I was invited to longboard through an acquaintance’s employer’s campus, and I declined mainly because I wasn’t confident in longboarding then. That was perhaps at the second, and probably final renaissance of my health. The most I can hope for now with my health is to live a meager existence where I will do as little as I can to gamble my health on such luxuries as longboarding, or really, any sport.

It might be easy to say, “cheer up, chum, you’ll get back into it again.”

It’s not really a depression I feel as I write this. It’s more of a sort of coming to terms with where my body is as we enter 2021. After that wipeout, I bought skateboarding/longboarding protection – helmet, and guards of hands/wrists, elbows, and knees – that I intended to wear as I went out on such minor adventures. I had no aspirations for doing tricks on a half-pipe. Still, it might have been nice to do the sorts of adventuring that happen when you’re not walking. I must be honest with myself that I could never find myself on that longboard, or any sort of longboard again.

The pain I experience every moment of my life may never fully go away.

I’m fine with that, or as fine as I could be given the terrible curse that is to give to any human being, but I know that if I am at all irresponsible with my physicality, this pain could be minor. I know that because the pain I’m experiencing here in late-December is something I never could have imagined feeling in late-November, late-October, and when my spine started giving me problems in April 2020. Oh, how I wish daily to “only” have the level of pain I had in April. That would be a nice relief from the pain I experience now.

The home gym dream of 2021 and beyond is humble compared to 2020 and before.

I had once imagined that I would center a home gym around my rowing machines and that I would acquire more exercise equipment. Something like a longboard would be a nice addition to the gym, but now, I realize the most I can hope for from a gym with the sort of pain I experience through even the modest pain management medicine I’ve been honored to receive is one rower, maybe the Wii Fit console area for that sort of digital-inspired exercise, and an area for a yoga mat for doing some stretches.

As I write this now, I have no way of being able to do any physical exercise.

The next few essays will be a sort of time-travel to previous weeks when I wrote them, but a few days after this essay’s publication, I will go to physical therapy where the theory is that I will do as much of that as possible to restore some degree of physicality. Maybe I’ll even be able to row? The neurologist I spoke to a few weeks ago, who frankly was rude to me and not a doctor I respect, told me to let physical therapy work its magic. As much as I want to believe in the power of physical therapy, I am going to a different physical therapist because my previous one had no magical powers.

My faith in humanity has lessened through this pain, sure.

I’m sure there are many “recovery” stories about how patients have restored their health through various means like physical therapy. I’ve read a few. That doesn’t mean I can’t be realistic and say that there is no way I feel confident at all in being able to do anything even remotely physically challenging like doing skate tricks on a half-pipe. I have no interest in doing such things anymore. That’s not depression talking – that’s realism. Why would I want to risk hurting myself worse?

If you felt this pain, you wouldn’t risk yourself moving superfluously, either.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 218.5
Last week’s weight: 223.5
Weight Difference: Do you want to know my trick to weight loss? Finding yourself in such unbearable pain that rationing out the energy to prepare any food for yourself becomes a gamble, so you carefully plan what food you can eat, to the point where, eventually, the luxury of immediately satiating hunger stops being such a lofty goal.
Difference between writing and editing for publication: I wrote this and then scheduled it for publication immediately because I had decided months ago that these morning essays concluding the year might be best served as being written at the end of the year. My health is in such terrible shape that this proved to be an insurmountable task that I can barely keep pace with, but, hey, if I don’t leave the apartment-mansion for days at a time, eventually my health can get to a point where I don’t experience pain that my Oxycodone rations don’t mostly numb.
Inspirations: Mainly just thinking about my 2021 health plans, which amounts to nothing more than maybe, if I’m lucky, walking around outside without two canes at a pace that is above a few inches at a time.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2020 December 27 [2:40pm to 3:08pm]
Last Edited: 2020 December 27 [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.