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.
Late into my PT sessions, I learned about foam rollers. They’re these cylindrical pipes of solid hard styrofoam that you can roll around on. I have a short one to stretch out my shoulders. When I laid my torso on the long one, I found that my left shoulder was an inch off. What I’ll be trying to do now is stretch out my back, shoulders, and neck several times a week to avoid headaches.
I didn’t row this morning. Through the external fatigue of thinking about current events, even if it’s been far away from me personally, ramifications manifest themselves in minor ways, ranging from frequent, depressing news stories to interrupted life plans. It’s all tough to consider, so when I have the day off, I might sleep more to adjust. But that doesn’t mean I can’t row twice daily! My rowing sets just have to be hours apart.
I’d forgotten about this since I moved and had to put the old rower into storage, but what I used to love doing was just counting my rows as I rowed. There’s a meditative quality to clearing out the space that would otherwise be cluttered with good or bad thoughts with something like counting rows. My rowing machine’s monitor records these stats so there’s no necessity anymore, but it’s nice, perhaps, for making rowing count.
In the sudden rush to build my work-from-home area weeks ago, I had to sacrifice my home gym’s sacred space. What space was once dedicated just to rowing, which I could occasionally relinquish when inviting guests over to sit at the dining room table, now must also be shared with boxes so I can stand while I work for the unforeseen future. Because of this and current events, I’ve been having trouble burning off calories.
Most local gyms are closed due to COVID-19. They might have reopened when this essay publishes… or not. I’m glad I invested in a quiet rower, over even a gym membership, because even the apartment-mansion complex’s gym is closed for the unforeseeable future. How can we remain healthy when we are in implied quarantine? The US isn’t in a state-mandated curfew, like Greece, yet, but we can remain healthy partially by doing some stretches daily.
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!
With two physical therapy sessions left before being discharged with a clean bill of health, in regards to my neck strain-induced mindbender headaches, the focus now is building endurance by practicing some of the more difficult stretches. I’ve been doing well with the more resistant bands and longer stretch times. When I look at myself in the mirror, I’ll either catch myself in bad posture and correct it sooner, or, I’m already in good posture.
Although I’ve just got into better health here over the past three weeks, I still want to get back to my old pace, and I keep having to remind myself to… no… take a break. If there’s anything I can do to get into better health, it’s not pushing myself as hard for so long. I’ve trained myself to be motivated through years of writing and rowing. It’s OK for me to take a break.
Physical therapy has been great for me to address some of the hidden patterns I had physically learned that, over thirty-plus years, caused the issues that sent me almost unnecessarily through the American Healthcare System. How much of that could have been avoided by simple preventative maintenance through learning the basics in compulsory education and having readily available gyms at trivial prices available to all? Well, that might just be being sensitive about the topic…