Saturday, August 13, 2011
182.4 lbs. And the hits just keep on coming.
Yes; I’m still in a crappy mood. Why do you ask?
I have been grounded. My chiropractor, whom I adore (and is the BEST chiro in the world. Called it. Period. No changing) told me to lay off on the lower body work for a few days due to the warnings given by the right knee on Wednesday. He thinks it’s probably just a muscle strain. I’m thinking “it had better be just that or else somebody somewhere is going to get an earful.”
I worked with Dr. Best years ago when I 1) was gainfully employed with health insurance and 2) was working with The King as a personal trainer. These two gentlemen (and yes, they ARE gentlemen) consulted with each other and worked out a plan to help me increase the range of motion in my neck without injury and how to go about strengthening and conditioning the rest of the body without undoing Dr. Best’s handiwork. While I was able to work with them, it was dandy.
Jump forward 4 years to today. Upper back turning to cement, bitchy right knee and very bad chairs to sit in for 10-12 hours per day (and not much choice in terms of alternatives). Not to mention the fact that the 10-12 hours a day eats in to my workout time to a supremely annoying degree. This is why I play the lottery. Did I mention I’m in a bad mood? A sustained one? Yeah. The only good thing about being stuck in the damn chair for 10-12 hours per day is that I get to listen to some great podcasts: “Fandom Planet” by Sax Carr and Tim Powers and “X-Aspirations” by Seamus and Candice Colbert, available on ITunes. The former is all about comics, TV shows the boys like (and they’re comedians), the movies based on the comic books and various other things. X-Aspirations is a thorough and detailed exploration of the X Men universe which is more interesting than the description I just rendered. Seamus is an X Fan of long standing . Candice…is not and she is the surrogate for those of us who have never delved into it. They started with the first edition and are working their way through. I find myself longing for the mutant power of waving my hand over the computer and all the input and analysis I need to do to complete my job is done SO I CAN GO TO THE FUCKING GYM AND WORK ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT!!!!
But I digress.
Within 30 second of arriving at Dr. Best’s office, I find out that my left leg is ¼ inch shorter than my right leg. Huh. No problem; this has happened before. Things are going to get yanked back into place. Unfortunately, the words “try to relax” seem to have the opposite effect if you’re in a chiropractor’s office. You know something weird is about to happen.
What caught me by surprise was being told that my back muscles are “thin”, despite the work I’ve been doing on them. And yes, if a machine says it works lats, delts, traps, rhomboids, Herculoids, quadrangles and the odd parallelogram, I will use it. Presses, dips, flies, row, row, row your boat, I’m there. He complimented me on the biceps (even called them “guns.” I may have to ratchet that down a couple of notches), but pointed out that the triceps have not had equal development. I was told that developing and building the back muscles will help make the 10-12 hours in bad chairs less physically torturous.
I was given a change of strategy for the weights as far as upper body work: new plan is to increase repetitions, not so much the weights. So, instead of 15 reps at 60 lbs., 20 reps at 50. I tried that strategy today and right now, my entire back (which really isn’t much of a complainer, really. Except for the 10-12 hours per day in a bad chair) is asking me “What the hell just happened?” Dr. Best told me that I seem to be able to put on muscle pretty easily so I should see (and more importantly feel) results very quickly. The muscle building ability was something to do with testosterone (we all have it) and that would explain the need to pluck chin hairs (You use a magnifying mirror and lighted tweezer – Sally Hansen makes some great ones. Ulta Beauty, about $20. Anyway, the process is “Hunting for Al Qaeda” since you pluck the little bastards out of their hiding places).
The knee: an examination showed that the kneecap is sitting where it should and is attached to what it should be attached to (despite the number of times I have smashed it with substantial force. One morning, I know I will wake up and it will have run away, leaving behind a note in its place that reads “I just can’t take the pain anymore.”) Tentative diagnosis: strained muscles. Okay. I can deal with that. Anything more serious and I am going to be even more irritated than I am right now. I have a game plan, People and these injury detours are not part of it, especially if they represent years of stupid trip and fall accidents. And I do mean stupid. Okay, no cardio for a few days (especially the Rotating Staircase of Death. He was very specific). No lower body weights. Phooey. Here I was ready to get a jump rope and add that to my exercise routine for variety and because (according to Mark and Brian on KLOS) it is one helluva workout. Yeah, not right now. Jumping up and down on a wonky knee? Not really a good idea.
The good news is that he tested my flexibility and found that it to be fantastic (his words, not mine). Here’s an example of why I love this guy, “To get fit, you’re working on three separate aspects: strength, endurance and flexibility. People focus on the strength and endurance, but ignore the flexibility and that’s probably more important than the other two. YOU (meaning me) have great flexibility and that will bring the other ones along in no time.” And, “You’ve already lost well over 40 lbs. I’m excited to be a part of your losing the next 40.” That kind of support, you can forgive a guy for bending you into a pretzel until something pops, right?
Luckily, my health insurance coverage, even for an out of network chiropractic provider, is DANDY. Not so much on the acupuncture front. That will all have to come out of pocket and that’s a big disappointment. See, I credit acupuncture for having started permanent resolution of sinus issues (take that, Ralph the Renegade Right Sinus, you little, blood-filled backed up fucker), improved sleep and control of non-craving driven eating. It would be great to have a deductible I can meet and then clear sailing, but no. Lottery winnings (Oh yes, they will be mine) will, in part, go to an acupuncturist. I love having all that stuff fixed and not being forced to think about it every time I blow my nose and get blood or my image in the mirror looks like Petey the Dog from Our Gang (or the Target dog, but the ring around the eye is black).
But I have really good flexibility. Thanks go to Lila (who was out this week and we had Hans Landa again, instead. I complain solely for comic effect because the lady is an excellent instructor and guides her students into truly deep, gentle and VERY effective stretching. Even more than Lila).
So, Dear Right Knee: you are on notice. I’m still feeling Dr. Best’s thumbprints all over you, but you’re going back to work on cardio and strength training within 48 hours at the latest. I am willing to 86 the treadmill and postpone the jump rope, but this means you’re going to have to be open to spinning or just SHUT UP on the Rotating Staircase of Death. We talked knee brace, remember and I am willing to do that if it will keep you happy. What I will not tolerate are issues that include phrases like “torn”, “damaged ACL”, “arthroscopic” or “physical therapy.” You’ve had it VERY easy for the past 20-30 years. We will not be going skiing, nor are we running a marathon. Since you are now being attended by a doctor on my dime, you will do as I ask of you and you will do it cheerfully and without taking hostages.
Dear Back Muscles: You’ve been served notice. Get with the program. Failure is not an option. Not on my watch.