It’s a quiet Saturday morning despite absolutely roaring winds and nasty cold outside. The Teenager and I were working out some financial details last night over tequila shooters after upheaval this week (and plans to do taxes tomorrow) in light of the fact that her check engine light popped on last night. Her car has turned out to be an enormous money pit.
I’m drinking Friendly’s Arabica Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream flavored coffee. I adore mint in coffee, so I picked this up. It has a light and smooth flavor, so I drink it way too fast (as I am used to my bitter dark roasts) and makes the kitchen smell fantastic, especially considering it comes out of a K-cup. Both the mint flavors I have found since stumbling on the Dunkin white chocolate peppermint, have been branded Friendly’s.
The importance of exercise when you have a disability
Last night I returned to the gym, having warned my fitness and strength coach Andrew of Apex Training that he needed to leave the sadist in him at home because my body is still delicate.
(I know he’s a personal trainer, but that doesn’t seem enough to classify what he does, so I call him my coach. Life coaching has become so en vogue right now and that sort of coaching using combines listening, some psychological training and helping people get their metaphorical shit together. Personal training to me seems very goal oriented, whereas Andrew has to deal with a lot more than that. Training implies, in my mind, sharing knowledge of an activity that relates to form and tricks of the trade. It’s giving intellectual knowledge in combination with experience to help someone develop a skill, or in this case, a habit. But, having dabbled with hobby bodybuilding in the past, I have the knowledge and we’re working with non-textbook medical issues because I don’t have a “normal” body, so I need some extra support. And I love the guys at Apex for all the support they give to me.)
Andrew prepared a lovely full-body workout circuit for me that focuses on quality of movements versus high intensity or heavy weights. He and I have noticed during our now year-long relationship that the second set of an exercise is always better than the first set. And we’ve come to believe that my body– because my brain and the muscles in my lower body can’t communicate like they do in people without neurological conditions– needs to be reminded what to do. It feels like my body needs to be shown basic movements after even the most basic hiatus to break a cycle of malfunctioning, reset, and proceed in a different and better manner.
That circuit reminded my body parts how to work together again and get all those tissues and electrical connections firing. And after a week of sometimes intense pain, emotional and physical stress, and constant discomfort, the exercises allowed me to test my movement and release any sensations of immobility or fear I was clinging to. And Andrew was there to monitor my performance and make sure I didn’t hurt myself.
And let me just add, in case anyone else struggling with a disability like mine that manifests differently in people or that the medical establishment doesn’t fully understand: It is 100% true that you know your body best, but it’s also true that our experiences in bodies that do not do what standard bodies do often blind us to what we can and cannot do. This can bubble to the surface in many ways: 1. We are stubborn and should not do many of the things we attempt to do; 2. We give up too easily; and 3. Because we never see our bodies from an outsider’s perspective so we have a skewed outlook.
These are all important reasons why I have a personal trainer. All of them. I learned this from listening to my daughter talk about my body. She didn’t mention it as a young child, but as she got older she said things like, “Mom, your feet are fucky. Fix them.” She saw me fall so many times that she began to notice the signs of when I might fall. I don’t see that. I don’t see my feet from an outside perspective. And that’s why it’s emotional painful to see photographs of myself with twisted knees. And also why I asked Joan to photograph them for Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money. And if I’m honest, why I put the photo spread in the back of the book. (See below for Amazon purchasing details or buy from us here.)
In many ways, Andrew knows my physical limitations better than I do. THAT is why I have a personal trainer. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have exercised at all last night. And this is why I get angry when people cite a disability for why they can’t work out– that is specifically why you need to work out. You can’t pound weights like a powerlifter or run marathons, but bodies need to be used and challenged.
Mundane things like food and mail order packages
Rant over… My blood pressure is elevated this morning, but looking at the patterns of the last week and my list of dietary choices, I can see the role salt has had in my numbers. Dinner Thursday night had more salt than I’ve had recently, and dinner last night consisted of a canned black bean, sheep cheese and processed mole sauce lasagne with lentil noodles, laced with that sodium.
Add the tequila, of which I did not have much, and the fact that I was licking salt off my hand…
I woke to a truly distressing dream that started as one of those dreams where you need to use the bathroom but can’t find one. I was wrestling a woman in a cheetah print denim dress to beat her to the toilet, and then, in the dream, I could not pee. Despite the pain and urgency of needing to pee. I suppose my mind really wanted me to wake up, because the next part of the dream haunts me even now. I saw a baby, who appeared to be blind (remarkably similar to the early 1980s hardcover, purple dust jacket edition of John Saul’s Comes the Blind Fury. And the baby had a baby. They were side by side, a newborn and a larger infant. Which took a cheese grater to my emotions, because I don’t think they were Irish twins. I had no choice but to get up after that horrific scene.
To bring things back around to happier things… and more references to Parisian Phoenix Publishing… (Please buy books!!!)
I prepared a special mail order package with a signed copy of The Death of Big Butch. I will be headed to the post office today.
What I ate Friday:
- 4:30 a.m., one cup Friendly’s Peppermint Stick coffee, with half and half
- 5 a.m., first breakfast, honey nut Chex with Silk protein cashew-almond non-dairy milk
- 8:30 a.m., second breakfast, salted and roasted pistachios, mango jerky from Solely
- 11:30 a.m., lunch, vegan tofu spring rolls and cabbage, diet Pepsi
- 3 p.m., snack, iced coffee with half and half and cinnamon a very berry oatmeal cookie from Panera
- 7 p.m., dinner, black bean and sheep cheese lasagne with cheddar and mole sauce on green lentil noodles and plantain chips
- 8 p.m., tequila shooter with pink Himalayan sea salt and a slice of lemon
(and about 60 ounces of water)