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Last week my truck got stuck on a "valley" of ice after rehearsal. (You know, small mounds of ice on either side where the shovelled snow had been piled, melted, and refroze, and a sheet of ice between where the melted snow refroze.) My wheels were getting no traction, and no one was around to help. I had no shovel to break up the ice and shovel it away, nor any sand or other abrasive material to help my tires gain traction. I had no choice but to throw my truck into neutral and try to push her out. I went behind and started rocking the truck, hoping to build up momentum to push her over the mini-mound of ice. The rocking wasn't working, and I was having trouble getting solid footing. At one point I slipped and fell on my face as my truck rolled back towards me. Fun. Finally, I decided to hold the truck at the apex of the rocking motion and just try to push from there, momentum be damned. I held her there, found some solid footing, positioned my body for maximum leverage, and pushed as hard as I could. A couple of minutes later, I managed to get the truck over the mound. She rolled into the middle of the cross street and stopped. I walked up to the open driver's side door and stood there for a moment to rest. The door then smacked me in the side, and that's when I realized that the truck hadn't stopped but was in fact rolling back towards the ice that had only moments before held it prisoner. I quickly jumped into the cab and applied the brakes.




On Sunday Bri invited me to play basketball with a bunch of guys in Arlington. I hadn't gotten regular exercise (Sunday morning flag football doesn't count!) since the end of rugby season, so I was happy to pass on watching a football game in order to get a workout. I was afraid my fitness would be horrible and my skills, since I haven't played hoops since March or April, would be worse. But I found that I was able to run up and down the court without problem, just a little bit of windedness towards the end of a game. And I was playing solid defense (including moving my feet very well), rebounding as well as ever, passing the ball well, and shooting not too poorly. I hit my first shot from the baseline and hit a fadeaway in the key over a defender who was both taller than me and had good position. I think I finished 2-for-5 shooting, which for me is pretty good. And Bri commented that I played very well, far exceeding his expectations after such a lengthy break from hoops.




This evening I helped surrealestate move some boxes. Mostly I was offering my truck, but I pride myself on being strong. Pound for pound I'm really not that strong, but because of my size I'm stronger than most people I know. Since I'm not fast or otherwise athletically gifted, I like to compensate with my strength. So, I don't mind putting it to use moving large boxes and stuff. Now, I have been known to push it or show off by taking two or three boxes when everyone else is taking one, but I swear I wasn't doing that today. I decided to carry just one box at a time from the cart to my truck bed. As I'm walking down the stairs with one box, I think to myself, "Wouldn't it be something if I threw out my back!" I laughed at the thought. Moments later, as if to spite me, I felt a sudden stabbing pain in my back. Great! I put the box down and tested my back. Okay, I threw it out, but it wasn't too bad. I still had full range of motion, and as long as I moved slowly I should be okay. I stretched a bit, and then resumed moving boxes. After I had moved about 5 or 6 boxes, I was lowering a plastic bin when all the muscles in my back clenched up again; this time the sharp stabbing pain was more painful than ever, and I actually dropped one end of the bin. (Not to worry, surrealestate, it only dropped about 4 inches, onto the edge of the ledge, and nothing was damaged.) I slowly shoved the whole bin onto the ledge and let go of the box completely. I was done for the night. At that point I don't think I could have lifted my book if I'd wanted to! I felt like such a loser sitting in my truck watching surrealestate and […] load and unload all these boxes. I felt old and useless.

Thing is, I can't blame getting older. The exact same sorts of things happened in my teens and twenties. Yes, I have some sort of rotator cuff injury and I threw out my back, but I feel like I'm in pretty decent shape overall. I'm big and heavy, but I'm active, I play sports regularly, and I feel good. I've had injured shoulders and thrown out backs before — these are just freak accidents, not signs of middle-agedness.

My back is still pretty tight, but it is starting to feel better. I'm optimistic that I'll be all nice and relaxed for caroling tomorrow night.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
muffyjo
Dec. 21st, 2005 01:55 pm (UTC)

I feel the same way about being strong for much the same reason. I'm larger than many and therefore have a larger muscular frame than many which makes me inherently stronger.

And yes, while some of it is related to getting older, some of it is also related to things like not stretching out, not warming up, and not having tried out those muscles for a while...it only takes 2 weeks for them to start atrophying (I know, great thing to learn).

But do what the rest of us old folks do...treat yourself to a massage. You will feel like a million dollars when you are through.
spwebdesign
Dec. 21st, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I wish I could! Can't afford a massage right now. :(
am0
Dec. 28th, 2005 01:05 am (UTC)
big body
Yes, having a big body gives an illusion of strength while putting added strain on the knees and back. I've had similar problems most of my life. Lately I've had to add wrists to the areas I've abused too much or too long. Humans aren't completely evolved for upright stances.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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