Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Return of the Five-Toed Sloth

Photo Credit: Michelleyyy via Compfight cc

10 days out from surgery, and today I am a complete wreck. I am hunched over as if I were 92 years old with osteoporosis. My shoulders burn as if I threw a 100+ pitch baseball game last night. The top of my abdomen radiates pain whenever I walk or shift in my chair.

I must've really hit the weights yesterday, right? Started my new ultra-marathon workout a few weeks too early, tried kayaking for the first time, or something of equal exertion to have this kind of physical reaction the next day?

Yeah, actually I walked 3/4 of a mile last night.

Now, mind you, this is an improvement from the previous night, where we only covered .65 of a mile. But still, man. I can not believe that 2 months ago we were walking 2 miles every day and were discussing ways to disengage the dog from our walks so we could really start stretching things out. Even after Lor's surgery, I was still managing 1+ mile walks with the dog every day, even during the pre-surgical "all liquids/no-calories" phase. Now after two days of walking back-to-back, I am ready to take pain meds, call the chiropractor, and sign up for reconstructive surgery. On my entire body, mind you.

We fail to understand (at least I did) just how important the "core" muscles in our midsection really are. There is a reason baseball players, marathoners, divers, etc. pay so much attention to things like pilates, yoga, and other core-strengthening exercises. Those muscles which are currently hunching me forward are the attachment points for all the other musculature in the body - the things that enable us to synergise what is happening in our lower bodies with what we are doing with our upper bodies and arms. And, now that I have 5 slowly mending holes in those core muscles, I am feeling the effects everywhere else in my physique as muscles that used to be gaining traction from elsewhere in my body are being forced to "go it alone" as it were. Isolation exercises, but not in a good way.

The speed is the really depressing part. Right before our back-to-back surgeries we were just a few seconds off from averaging 20-minute miles. It may not sound like much to the athletes among you, but for mere mortals like me sustaining a 3 mile-per-hour pace over multiple miles is really good. Now I am back to managing only three-quarters of a mile in 22 minutes. I have a loooong way to go. Even the dog is starting to look back over her shoulder at me, wondering why I am taking so long to get anywhere.

I originally had grand visions of heading straight back into the gym in 3 weeks, right after my 1-month post-op appointment clears me for resistance exercise. Considering how my arms and shoulders feel today, from the mere effort of moving them back and forth as I walk around the neighborhood, I may have to reconsider that notion. My sagging pecs, drooping triceps and shrinking quads are making me think that I might go in to set my max reps on the first day and fail to move a single weight. After leaving the gym in shame, I will be reduced to lying on the living room floor and bench pressing handfuls of lint I find under the couch.

But, on a positive note, I have not yet given into temptation and eaten the dog. So there's that, I suppose.

Six Days 'Til Scrambled Eggs,

- Hawkwind

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