New Aches Will Figure Out that They Have Nothing on My Old Agonies

My sexy body has been a bastardish diva for some weeks. My medications, chronic pain, the weather, and the fiendish chronic fatigue that comes with Crohn’s Disease have been actively conspiring against my comfort. But they are wrong if they think they can push my face to the wall, (um… to the pillow?) forever.

We (my brain and I) have been studying the situation very closely—we know our flesh and bones aren’t getting enough rest, we know that some of our chronic pain doesn’t come from trauma but from confused nerves that insist on betraying us. We need to be careful with our messed up hip, shoulder, foot, gut… But we need to exercise energy into our being. There are tons of things we can do to keep our heart pumping, to keep numbness from kissing our fingers and toes, to keep sleep from constantly riding our eyelids.

Exercise hurts. Not exercising hurts more… and nudges mind and body towards wasting away. I hate waste, and refuse to be its willing vessel. Tomorrow, I start running… again, at a very s l o w pace. The last time I tried to run, there was some blood… But my gut has been doing much better. I feel stronger.

These days, it’s fatigue that keeps me from moving as much as I would like to move. There are times when it’s rather difficult to keep my eyes open. I suspect some of the lethargy will go away once I can feed on the addictive bliss of endorphins. My doctors and my Piano Man and I are very hopeful. One of my doctors recommended a self-reward system. “After every successful workout session,” he said, “give yourself something you really like, something that lures your brain to get out of bed when you’re too tired.”

I thought the idea was silly. “I can’t think of anything I want, which I don’t have,” I said to my Piano Man.

“What about more money for buying books? It doesn’t have to be a lot (my lover knows just how cheap his lover can be *cough, cough*), maybe 25¢ for each workout. You can buy yourself a new book every…”

His words were drowned by the voice of my bookish greediness squealing about the new titles we would get. Then I decided that the reward had to mean something. So 39¢ (for my age) would make more sense. And if I skip a workout, I must give 39¢ back. Next year, I will get 40¢ per workout. My brain grinned.

As I’ve always done, I will run thrice a week, do calisthenics twice a week, dance once a week, rest one day out of the week, and stretch in the morning and evening every day. I know it sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t… once a body gets used to it. I can’t exercise as hard as I used to, but I can still do quite a bit.

I shall keep you posted. If we are friends on Facebook or Twitter, you will possibly suffer some of my moaning… particularly the first week. After the days of soreness diminish, and the new aches figure out that they have nothing on my old agonies, I will probably tell you about how good the whole thing feels.

1st Day of Week 1
Weight: 148 lbs. – Waist: 34.5 inches
Energy levels: in the dumps…

dont-fear-pain

Exercising Is a Lot Like Having Sex

A few days ago, after my Physical Torturer said that it was safe to add strength exercises to my workout routine, I spent quite some time explaining to someone (who asked to borrow my completed plan) why what I do might not work for him. I might’ve also suggested (in a mildly stern manner) that a huge part of getting in shape and staying there is doing one’s own work towards accomplishing what one desires.

You see, my Wicked Luvs, I think exercising is a lot like having sex: if we aren’t getting what we need and want out of it—and feeling pleasantly exhausted after we’re done—it’s quite possible that we aren’t doing it right. And to do it right, we must experiment and practice… experiment and practice… experiment and practice… until we find what works for mind and body.

And this is assuming that the one doing the deed is lucky enough to possess a healthy body. When variables such as injury and illness are thrown into the mix, the whole thing gets much more complicated. I, for instance, have to consider hip and shoulder injuries, a moody back, untrustworthy feet, nerve pain, asthma, a crappy stomach… By the time I’m done compensating for all the madness, my Hip Thrusts might look alien when compared to someone else’s moves.

I’ve listed the exercises (see below) I will be working with during the next months, including my forever physical and occupational therapy stretches and workouts (for my shoulder and back). I exercise for 45-90 minutes, for 5 consecutive days, rest on day 6, and then repeat… In the last few years, I’ve lost many exercises—I can no longer do things like pull-ups, push-ups, dips, mountain climbers… and last year, when my balance began to sucketh very mucho, I lost the ability to do lunges.

But like I’ve said to my big brother and to a few friends who must exercise or else, there is always something we can do. If impact is trouble, try water aerobics; if standing is too hard, go for the chair exercises; if motivation keeps you from getting started, find a buddy to work with (face-to-face or online)… If like in my case, pain is an issue, get close and personal with your flesh and bones—experiment until you find something your body can do in reasonable comfort, once you find it, make it part of your daily living.

If you need a friend (or 13+ Luvs) to keep you honest and to help you focus your intent, then go ahead and share your plan with them… which is what I’m doing right now *cough*: I want to lose 15.5 of my 143.5 pounds of total hotness. That much sexiness could be a danger to us all. 😀

I know that exercising 45-90 minutes a day might look like a lot to many people. And it probably is. But when the alternative is losing mobility or saying goodbye to the endorphin rush I get from working out, then I find a way to turn “a lot” into just right for me.

Calisthenics
Squats
Pliés
Monkey F*ckers
Crunches
Dirty Dogs
Donkey Kicks (in slow motion)
Hip Thrusts
Bridges (with progressions)
Hello Dollies
Flutter Kicks

Shoulder
Passive Internal Rotations
Passive External Rotations
Standing Rows
External Rotations with Arm Abducted 90°
Internal Rotations
External Rotations
Bicep Curls (with resistance bands)

Back
Hamstring Stretch (bilateral… with scarf)
Knee to Chest (bilateral… with scarf)
Single Knee to Chest (with scarf)
Single Leg Hamstring Stretch (with scarf)
Hip Extensions (similar to donkey kicks, but holding the position without kicking)
On Elbows (prone… and breathe in the sky)
Upper and Mid Back Extensors

Exercise Schedule
Wed, Jan 6th – rest
Thu, Jan 7th – calisthenics, back, shoulders
Fri, Jan 8th – walk or dance
Sat, Jan 9th – calisthenics, back, shoulders
Sun, Jan 10th – walk or dance
Mon, Jan 11th – calisthenics, back, shoulders
Tue, Jan 12th – rest
Wed, Jan 13th – walk or dance
And again…

Note: to be safe, it is wise to speak to a doctor before starting a new exercise regimen (especially if there is injury or illness to consider). The listed calisthenics are mostly exercises modified out of the Marine Corps Daily Sixteen Program (you can read about the exercises HERE; if you have trouble with the direct PDF, please google “Marine Corps Daily 16”). Stretching and conditioning exercises, similar to the ones I do, can be found on OrthoInfo, under “Parts of the Body”.

Magaly Jan 2016My deliciously wild curls temporarily tamed…
in order to get a haircut, a bit of color and some highlights. 😉