Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Growing Pains

The first major hurdle of the Big Fat Fitness Comeback is upon me. From the base of my skull to the sacro-iliac joint in my pelvis, my neck and back are cranky. Not in spasm, not blown out, but just grumpy, painful, stiff, and threatening to blow out at any moment. I can’t place a starting point for this phenomenon. The upper back has been stiff in the mornings for weeks now; the mid back and lower back got pretty tweaked when I was working as my brother’s assistant stage hand for my parents’ party a few weeks ago; and I have the neck of a typical computer slave, ready to seize up at any time. Last night as we drove home from our friends’ house, muscles cramped up in the front of my neck, creating a nifty combo of pain and choking, though the muscles in question were on the outside of the neck, not really my throat as such.

I did a modest workout on Saturday morning, in an unusual late-summer rain shower that hit the pavement in fat drops. I walked, and jogged a few steps and walked again. I did my semi-pushups on the metal gate, and a few sets of sideways shuffling along the path on the way home, just to move in the lateral plane for a change. Going forward (or backward) on a bike or on foot is movement in the sagittal plane. I had to look up how to spell that. Twisting the night away - that’s the transverse plane. Well-balanced athletes move easily in all those directions. I do not.

There weren’t any major strains though. I got home feeling peppy enough to deadhead a few roses and do battle with the ferns invading our front walkway. After all that, though, I was struck by fatigue and spent the rest of the day and evening watching sports on TV from the BPC. This is almost not an exaggeration. At some point in this great immobility, my hip/lower back sent out a communique that all was not well, so I stretched my glutes and piriformis as best I could without actually leaving the BPC’s warm embrace. Felt better, and virtuous for having stretched however perfunctorily.

Sunday - “eh.” This “eh” is pronounced with the short “e” of “pet” rather than the “ay” sound of the Canadian generic interrogative particle. A flat tone of voice and a wry twist of the mouth convey the appropriate emotion. Back felt bad in many places, energy was low. Eschewed exercise completely and visited friends instead, which involved much driving, which it was my turn to do. My neck joined the chorus of disapproval.

Monday - same “eh.”. The walk to the office from the train felt hard and uncomfortable, though my ankles felt worse than my back for some reason. Day at desk didn’t help much but didn’t exacerbate the situation. I weenied out and got a ride to the afternoon train from my co-worker.

Tuesday has the feeling of a critical day. If I let three days go by without real work-up-a-sweat movement, I feel like I might lose momentum in a serious way. But I don’t want to wreck my back. So maybe it’s just walking again. Sigh.

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