Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Enduring Waiting Without Anger

Well, I am guessing the evil spirits of Halloween or the good spirits of All Saints Day have worked their magic as I am almost back to normal today.  Just the rare achy night and not being able to run are my worst problems!  Still cannot see my inside ankle bone, but swelling is only a 10th of what it was.

I was totally fascinated by the gradual healing which I monitored daily.  I could not push it faster whether I rested more or exercised more.  Yet, every day, probably because I no longer work and can stay at home and have few distractions, I noticed a measurable improvement.  This slow healing reminded me of so many things in life that move forward at a snail's pace.  (Actually these last two days I have been able to noticed a faster improvement if I took two aspirin in the late afternoon and then put my foot under a heating pad...this blood rush did make things better more noticeably.)

  • The slow emergence and growth of a seed into a plant.  You can check it each day and see the growth, but there is nothing dramatic or surprising in its changes, unless some rodent eats it to the ground.
  • Losing weight requires endless patience and if you give up just one day you will not see measurable loss.
  • Babies change so slowly if you are able to study and watch them each day.  They look toward your sound, than at your face and finally are able over time to focus on your eyes and then respond to your smile.
  • Good poetry must be read slowly, then re-read (out loud for me) and then over time it grows on you and thickens with meaning.
  • Love, real love that goes beyond sex and eye candy, takes such a long time.  The melding of good and bad habits and trust happens over days, weeks, months and becomes a strong if not beautiful foundation only over decades after all of life's tests and challenges have been met.
  • Developing an expertise in something comes only with time.  Talent you may be born with, but honing that into an expert skill requires time.  Malcolm Gladwell ( a somewhat controversial author) in his book "Outliers" writes about how long it takes to really become an expert. "Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post."

I do not think it will take me 20 hours of walking for 10 years to be an expert at walking, because clearly I never had the talent to begin with!  My point is that everything worthwhile seems to take a lot of time and therefore we all better learn patience.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cherry-Picken' Pain!

My mother, when she was a few years younger than I am now, was home alone most of the time since my father continued to work waiting for full social security.  He usually worked about 60 miles away from the farm.  One autumn my mother was in the process of picking cherries from our three cherry trees out back by the chicken shed.  She got a bee in her bonnet that using the ladder was not getting her high enough.  (What she was doing on a ladder on uneven ground all by herself at her age makes me shake my head?!)  Anyway her attempt to climb higher in the tree to reach the last of that red ripe fruit resulted in her taking a nasty fall.  She broke the heel of her foot upon landing, and nothing else thank goodness, and had to drag herself about 80 feet across the mowed field, over a dry irrigation ditch and over the gravel driveway into the house and eventually to the phone!  I remember her telling me this story, but I was not as impressed as I should have been at the time.  (What a little twit I was.)  I also remember her complaining at how her other remaining children, all living close but elsewhere with full-time jobs, didn't help her much.  I am sure they did as much as they could with their busy lives.  My mother also loved playing the martyr.

This incident came back to me while I was lying in bed this morning greeting a new day.

Yesterday, my husband and I using a much too small dolly were attempting to move one of those huge old fashioned television sets from the garage to the attic storage in the closet of the guest bedroom.  This old TV belongs to my son who had left it at our house along with a small collection of other furniture since he was moving into his girlfriend's tiny house a few weeks ago. Husband was above pulling the dolly and I was below holding the TV against it.  We had just reached the top step of the stairs which has a larger lip when the television flipped off the dolly platform knocking me down a few steps and then landing on my foot and lower leg mashing them against the steps as I fell back.  I held my ground fearing I might fall all the way down the stairs as this appliance rolled over me.  I managed, although in the early waves of pain. to drag my foot out from under the TV and to put the back of my shoulder against the set and scoot slowly down the stairs allowing the TV to follow against my shoulder.

Hubby could not help because he was at the top behind the dolly and it happened too fast for him to attempt anything.  I reached the bottom step and move away while the television slid to the floor taking a piece of the skin off my forearm as it did so.

I managed to limp to the nearby couch before the shock set in.  Eventually I felt waves of nausea and waves of pain and found myself involuntarily hyperventilating, until my body finally adjusted to what had happened.  After several hours of ice-on and ice-off and two Aleve, I had decided that I had not broken anything because the pain was bearable.  I was also very lucky in that I spend time, after lifting leg weights two or three times a week, stretching all of my joints including my ankles to keep me as flexible as possible.  That has given me some good resilience and bone mass.  We have talked to our doctor friend and all agree an x-ray is not necessary as my pain is easing and I can put some light weight on the foot.

Yes, we were idiots trying to get that 80 pound monstrosity up the stairs. I had told my son to just leave it in the garage since I hadn't decided where to store it, another mistake!   My husband had his adrenaline kick in and actually lifted the set and carried it upstairs by himself shortly after!  Probably another mistake but I was too busy trying to bear waves of pain to protest.

Since it was going to continue to be my lucky day, within 30 minutes the TV news stations were warning of tornadoes and major storms moving into our area and showing a lovely home missing its roof just about 200 miles to the south of us.  No way I was moving to the basement!  Luckily the storm missed us.

This morning my left ankle is now twice the size of my right ankle, but the religious application of ice every 20 minutes today, should continue to help keep the swelling at bay.  I am told that the swelling caused by fluids causes the majority of the pain.  The ankle does not appear black and blue which means little blood loss inside, another plus.

Lots of time to write a long post on this laptop but no way to search for an appropriate accompanying photo as they are on the other PC.  Of course, today the sun is brilliant and the angles are perfect for some photography.  Wouldn't you know it?  Then again, I could take a photo of my ankle....Nah!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Cold Windy Day!

Being retired means, for most people, that everyday is Saturday or Sunday.  Baring economic hardship, you can pretty much do what you want.  Baring guilt trips or health restrictions you can pretty much do it as long as you want.  Baring the attitudes of people you live with you can do it all day if you want.

Lie in bed and pull the covers over your head on a cold windy winter morning.
Grab the binoculars and watch the bird feeder for hours until your stomach reminds you that you have eaten nothing yet today.
Drink your coffee slowly and mindfully rather than in scalding sips on the way to work.
Read an entire book in one sitting.
Watch more than one movie on DVD in an afternoon.
Spend an afternoon wondering how on such a windy and cold day the geese can manage to tack their way flying down the river pulling into stalls and then tacking to the other side to continue with their progress.  Takes them much longer on a day like today.  Spend another hour trying to get a good photograph of that challenge.

And if you have a little Puritan work ethic in your soul, as I do, go through all those old files in the basement with your husband and reduce them to 30% by tossing or shredding the 60%...
OR actually exercise through an entire episode of NCIS which you have seen several times before!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Pretentious Vanity

It is pretentious for me to hit my sixties and say that I do not care how I look. I have drawers full of cosmetics and face creams and hair goo. If I didn't care how I looked, I would throw all of these out and go plain Jane. I do go plain on most days. Putting on only moisturizer and hair conditioner to keep me from flaking away. Some folks were born into that gene pool of aging gracefully and look just as good without makeup as they do with it. Sissy Spacek comes to mind. She looks 16 and has looked like a teenager her whole life.

I don't care how I look (just stop by for a visit) when I am lounging around the house, when I am cleaning the house, when I am stacking wood, blogging in the early morning or when I am digging a garden bed. I really do not care, because the evidence of my actions excuses my messy looks.

I care just a little how I look when I have gotten through rolling on the floor with a toddler, cooking a rather industrious meal for guests, or changing planes at the airport. I do want a brush through my hair and some lipstick help before I settle into that next plane for hours.

But, I am nervously vain about appearances when I am going on vacation to areas where the climate insures that one does not wear many clothes. All the make-up and hair spray will not make me look healthy in a swimsuit.

Last year we agreed to a Disney Cruise with my daughter and her in-laws this coming April. Yes, a cruise where the majority of passengers are below 3 feet in height. Yes, we agreed to being confined on the ocean on a boat with tiny cabins and hundreds of busy activities run by scary high energy employees in costumes...not my idea of a vacation, especially when you shell out such sums of money for this. But I was determined in my elder years to be more generous in avoiding regrets by failing to do things in life that seemed regrettable and thanked them for remembering us and purchased the tickets.

My appearance concern starts escalating because I will be with a 60-something grandma that has a lovely figure and two nicely built thirty-something females, one of whom used to be a professional cheerleader. You know the type, artificial breasts, straight blond hair and the sweetest little face. I have been trying (without success and empathizing each day with Oprah) to lose about 10 more pounds so that I don't look like a walking light bulb. Yes, a low watt bulb, a dim bulb but a bulb none-the-less. I am a healthy grandma. I am not asking for a 50 pound re-make here, just a little reshaping.

Can I lift 12 pound free weights for 20 reps ? Yes. Can I run a 3 minute mile? Yes. Can I do 80% of that nasty yoga tape before collapsing in a sodden lump on the mat? Yes. Can I do 5 minutes of very intense ab work? Yes. Can I lose more weight around my mid-section? Apparently not.

Last week I avoided the 3 ten-minute miles on the elliptical every other day (YES, dear readers, 3 TEN MINUTE MILES(!)) in favor of an old 'Firm' tape that used to push me to the limit with both weights and aerobics. The d**n thing runs for a full 55 minutes and I was determined to make it through the entire excruciating ordeal at this re-start of a new direction in my weight loss program.

I made it. My form was somewhat sloppy, but I made it to the end of the tape. I was sweating and breathing heavy...but I made it.

The very next day I could barely make it out of bed. That afternoon it felt as if knives had been plunged into my thighs, buttocks and calves. The day following that I took that forest hike I had written about on my other blog and I honestly thought I would DIE from the pain of just walking. The vision of being carried out on a stretcher by two forest rangers did not seem unrealistic. Two more days and some yoga later and I still consider it a torture to go up the stairs to blog in the morning. I still take Aleve when I fall into bed at night. I still have not lost the 10 pounds! Yes I have gained a pound...sure, you can tell me it is muscle, but it didn't land anywhere useful that I can see.

Vanity is a most poisonous sin but it does not eat you from the inside least not so it shows.