“I am so sorry to hear about the pain and the struggle it has caused you – it has clearly been life altering.” While I’ve been stuck in the second-opinion stages, where a doctor remotely reviews my case and considers whether or not [my life has value] my spine needs surgery, I’ve reflected on some things… I own two good rowing machines. Will I ever be able to use either one again to their fullest capacities?
Partway through folding 1,000 paper cranes, I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was working on this project. Eventually, I folded 2,000 paper cranes, wishing for better physical and mental health. I think I achieved both. My friend had mentioned something that stuck with me for years; paraphrased, he said: If I’m not thinking about [better health] while folding the paper crane, am I really working toward achieving that goal? Imbue things with positive thoughts.
Over the past ten visits to physical therapy, I’ve reversed the spinal issues that were causing my headaches and learned better ways to stretch certain muscles in my neck and shoulders. Although it’s not magic and although it won’t get done on the first visit, with enough practice both with the physical therapists and at home, I was able to reclaim normalcy. It’s a good feeling rowing again. I’m getting into more advanced stretches now.
I was feeling good up until I woke up, hours early, with a sore back. Realigning the three spinal problems, all mild, will take time. It should help to get things back into order. At least now I know that when I feel the pangs or pops, that it’s normal, but just not to overdo it, because then the muscles won’t have time to develop. I’m in that intermediary stage where things are still healing.
I spent all day Saturday on my feet, running around, talking to people, without drinking my usual gallon of water per day, only eating a small breakfast and a small dinner, after a week of rowing 15-minute sets somewhat consistently, for the heaviest weigh-in I’ve had in nearly one year. It’s easy to critique myself, consider all my efforts to be wasted, and consider this whole thing to be a waste. Instead, let’s consider unexpecting.
I kept this mini-rower for one month more than its usefulness because I needed a viable option. The gym I found is an effective stop-gap, where, within its hours of operation, I can row well consistently, so I don’t need this squeaky rower. I still want a nice rower I can use at any reasonable hour for those days I’m anti-social, but at least I’ve been able to burn off some superfluous energy – mentally, anyways.
My mind constantly chatters. I’ve developed a tolerance for ignoring the negatives – and when the negatives scream out me, I’ll sit quietly, listen to it empathetically as that bratty side of my mind screams about not being able to get ice cream, until it tires and we can find a compromise on maybe some icy treat later on – but even without the negativity there’s still there’s a constant monologue of ideas. Except when I exercise.
My legs have five major bruises, I slammed my left hand into a wall, my back hurts, and I still have a few carloads and truckloads to go. From my time doing mildly-heavy labor – if moving furniture, computers, donations, and scrap metal count for anything – I had learned, and am relearning, the value of taking care of myself. I’ve got a few more days of stuff to move, so there’s no need to burn out.
I think we procrastinate when an activity is too difficult to imagine how to start. I’ve been procrastinating on deciding my fitness lifestyle for the better part of the past month, if not multiple months, and it’s been a mild irritant that’s just been permeating everything I do, but in minor ways. I can only express my stress so much through words. When others tell me about their gym memberships, I experience something weird: jealousy.
I haven’t had much energy lately. My health has declined since I stopped rowing twice daily in minor ways, but it’s in the inability to move things I once could or work as hard as I once could. After I moved, I stopped being able to row at all. The chains are too loud. Sure, the neighbor kids still scream in the complex, but I don’t want to be rude like that, so I’m stuck…