Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thumbs Up, But Back Down.

Not that I was really looking to learn, but I am starting to understand some things about being over 60. One of them is that you can unintentionally invite karma to come in and kick you in the butt if you're not careful.

Just a couple of days ago I had recovered my energy from the hard work of lugging stuff around and cleaning up. I did my Wii exercises and I thought to myself that I felt pretty good. No aches, no pains, nothing to complain about at all.

Two days later, I am having trouble standing up without pain, my calf muscles cramp up when I walk, there are nicks and scrapes and cuts all over me, and I keep reaching for my mobile phone when it vibrates only to realize that it isn't in my pocket.

Everything is very minor, but collectively these aches and pains are annoying. I know how each of them came about (well, not the mysterious vibration when my phone isn't even in my pocket), and in each instance bar one it all seems a little unfair of karma to be punishing me for my "I Feel Good" moment.

The one instance where I have only myself to blame is the scrape on my thumb. Two nights ago I decided to make fondue and was busily grating the cheese when I discovered that you can also grate your thumb if you don't pay attention. From now on, the cheese grater has a warning label saying it is unsafe to operate if you have been consuming alcohol.

By the way, grating your skin hurts a lot more than cutting yourself, which I did on the other hand. And no, I was not conducting a test to compare them.

Then yesterday morning I was doing my Wii yoga. Time for the Tree pose, which is the one where you stand on one leg with your arms above your head. The Wii trainer was in the process of saying, "You're fairly unsteady. That's not good for your back," when I felt my lower back start to ache.

I know you're supposed to do stretching before you exercise, but yoga is stretching. What kind of stretching do you have to do before you stretch?

Anyhow, I stopped the exercises so I wouldn't damage my back. It stopped hurting and didn't bother me the rest of the day. Since I couldn't do my Wii workout, I made sure I went for my walk. I went on the nature trail down to the wharf because it is the prettiest route to take around here.

There was a big step down on the path, and I didn't want to jar my back. So I stepped to the side of the path and walked down. Except the side of the path was a little slippery, and I ended up stumbling and scraping my left shin against a big rock. It only bled a little. I could show you a picture of that damage, but I don't think you can tell the difference between yesterday's scrape and the scars from when I fell in Africa more than 10 years ago.

That was the first walk I've taken in a while since we have been doing so much physical work getting the house ready to sell, and by the end I was walking really slowly because both of my calf muscles were starting to cramp up. Fortunately, it did not begin until I was close to home, and the neighbors didn't have to put up with me screaming in agony.

Because I haven't walked in a couple of weeks, I wasn't surprised this morning when my heels, knees and hips were sore. But that's the good "sore" from finally using the muscles you haven't used in a while.

The bad "sore" happened when LK and I came back from the North Sydney markets this morning. When I leaned over to pick up a bag on the floor of the car, my lower back reminded me why I hadn't finished the yoga yesterday.

Only now it's not going away, and I am being extremely protective of it -- walking slowly so as not to jar it, getting up so slowly that I some times can't remember if I am getting up or sitting down, and in general hoping cocktail hour hurries up and gets here because I think this backache feels like a 2-martini cure.

Nothing is all that serious and all of them will be forgotten in a couple of days. But isn't it amazing how karma can take you from feeling great on Tuesday to feeling sorry for yourself by Saturday.

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