I was looking back through posts from last winter, and I see that I was bothered then by many of the same things that are bothering me now—a bigger body than I’d like, a body that won’t cooperate with my desire and need to exercise, a body trying hard to recover from injury, a body that has asked me to slow the hell down so that it might try to heal. I see that my New Year's Resolutions from this past January even set more limited goals, exercise-wise, since I didn't want to go crazy with the expectations.
Last year I expected this, since I had just had surgery. I really thought that by this year I might not be feeling this way. I know that those kinds of thoughts do me in, those kinds of expectations, but they sneak their way in there before I realize it, and then I have to extricate them.
I am not complaining about my shoulder. In fact, I am trying hard not to complain. It is just that the left side of my body seems to be part of an organized revolution of some kind. Things started with that shoulder, of course. Then randomly one day, I had a blind spot in the center of my left field of vision—kind of like I had looked at a bright light, but it has never gone away. Then this summer while I was in London, my left hamstring got really tight, and no amount of stretching would help. (Mind you, this cannot be a sports injury, because all I was doing at that time was sitting in the British Library for hours on end, and walking to and from the British Library. Well, and Bollywood dancing, but I digress.) That hamstring pain came and went during the fall, but got worse in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, to the point where it even hurt to kick while I swam.
My coach, knowing how the pain started, suggested that I try a chiropractic adjustment. I went to see the chiropractor last week, and he asked, “Has your left shoulder always been lower than your right?” I said no, and told him the whole Shoulder Surgery Massacree, with four-part harmony, and he said, “Bless your heart,” southern U.S. code for “Your life sucks but I’d hate to say so.” He also suggested that until I see how these adjustments affect my spine, that I not do any strength training, though swimming would be fine.
Anyway, he has done some splendid crackly adjustments on my back, neck, and hips, trying to get things straightened out. But then on Wednesday of last week I went to the pool after seeing him, and as I was kicking—but not even particularly hard—I felt some kind of irksome but not particularly traumatic snap in my—you guessed it—left knee, which then got more and more painful. So after a ridiculously short swim, I got out, took a shower and went home, befuddled, and did a lot of icing.
I mean, exactly what kind of exercise can I do? Nothing that overtaxes my shoulder. Nothing that makes my hamstring or knee hurt. Nothing that might affect my spine.
That leaves . . . knitting.
Which I have been doing a lot of.
But it ain’t swimming. Or walking. Or rowing. Or cycling. Or lifting weights.
Have you tired yet of my now seemingly endless tales of exercise woes?
On Friday the PP noted that his mother and sister are getting themselves a Wii fit for Christmas, and he suggested we consider getting one. I told him maybe, but first let me put in a plea to Magpie, who is giving one away.
Will it change my life? I don’t know. I love games, and maybe having some little active games that we can play in the cold weather that still get the blood pumping would be fun. (Probably can’t knit while playing, though, without risking bodily harm to myself or the PP.) But hey—at this point I am willing to try anything!