I’ve always been interested in my body – not only image, but how it worked.
I wasn’t born, or blessed some may say, with the body I wanted.
You don’t have to be athletic or well-balanced or have a high tolerance for extreme exercise to want to do what’s best, given what you have to work with, that contributes to better health and feeling of well-being.
I never could have skate-boarded or water-skied or snow skied. Even bowling wasn’t easy – that hand-eye coordination and mixed dominance in the brain tricked me up every time. Me knitting is like watching an impaired person, crocheting was certainly not my game. Mother tried to teach me, but no way Jose.
When young I could run, but then those tachycardia issues developed and the breathiness. I loved the water, but no one expected to see me on anybody’s swim team, though I had beautiful form some would say. I was forced to join a neighborhood softball team and it was an embarrassment. My mother fought for something for the girls and I had to at least show up and try.
I tried golf and couldn’t hit the ball; who cares where it goes as long as I could hit it. Not going to happen. The others thought I was pretending not to be able to hit it. I wasn’t. I gave it a hundred percent of wishing and hoping.
I need some food, just writing about all those fun for most everybody else athletic exercise activities in which I could not participate and have fun made me hungry. One has to get on the board at least. That wasn’t going to happen.
Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that he visualizes everything the night before that he wants to do the next day in the gym. It works he said.
Hey, I could dance, but not for long. And I have to go with my own movements, since because of that mixed dominance thing I get my right and left mixed up, so nothing flows as it should. No dance contests for me.
People who can do all these physical activities and do them reasonably well, don’t know how lucky they are.
No one would believe that I was buying MUSCLE & FITNESS magazine since the late seventies. No one would believe that I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book while walking around a bookstore in Massachusetts. Read the whole book, that’s how small it was and the print was large, but that’s how interested I was in muscles. To this day, anytime his name is in the news, I pay attention. I recall the one thing he admitted to in the book was treating girls, everybody called women, girls back then, like sex toys or something like that. He also talked about vomiting after extreme exercise.
I have dystonia, a neurological condition that effects certain skeletal muscles by irregularly contracting them, pulling parts of the body affected into abnormal positions – controlled by the basil ganglia of the brain. The same region that causes Parkinson’s disease. Some say it’s the opposite of Parkinson’s.
That condition emerged after an accident on an amusement slide where I went airborne and came down hard on my spine, then up again, then down again till I swirled at the bottom, struggling to get up with a small child in my arms. I remember at trial, the defense claimed I should have put my arms out to protect myself, thereby not taking necessary steps to prevent injury. Of course I lost, not being a born-in-Oregon person.
I was an active kid. No one would say I was challenged as a child or even as a young adult; I just wasn’t athletic. Tall, skinny, lanky isn’t a handicap. I was quick – at everything, and precise.
I remember trying to back up on my ice skates and just couldn’t figure it out. Kids would show me how they do it, mothers of my friends showed me, but didn’t tell me the process. Maybe it’s one of those things that you either innately know how to do or you don’t. No amount of teaching or showing will change that. No one’s going to be able to teach me how to hit a golf ball.
I wasn’t good at factory work either. I tried it though, with every intention of doing well. Nanny Kay can do it, so can I. Not so.
I’ll tell you though, all the failures were not for lack of trying. I tried everything, put my all into it.
I’m chuckling out loud now watching myself as I write on a fat-free chef site about exercise. What could I possibly know that everybody else wouldn’t simply laugh at or that they already know?
Nothing. Everybody knows more about exercise than I do. Even though it has always been a part of my life, front and center for huge sweeps of my life, I couldn’t follow and stick to any exercise program that I ever read about or watched on a video that anybody else promoted. I guess that makes me a DIY person.
My specialty is staying active. I can’t sit for long. It’s in my DNA that ‘not being able to sit still long’ thing. Even sitting in the short term, something on me is moving.
I have a treadmill in my room. I have a rowing machine. Well, half a rowing machine. I injured myself low to the floor, thinking I was Cory Everson of body building fame. I got creative with it, just because I was feeling so good, but the next day and for six months later every time I looked at that rower I cursed it in my mind.
I almost threw it away, the whole of it, when I decided to break it up and remove the long seat bar and the seat. What’s left is the head. Now that I can work with and hopefully not injure myself. I either stand to use it or sit on the desk chair or the side of the bed to use it. Haven’t been injured since the last time. Good for me.
I have two cords, red and green different resistances, in the closet hanging over the clothes rack which is a perfect place, since the rack is super-secure. I don’t do long distance; I get up close. Working in a small space on my total trunk. I don’t spread anything out. Lanky, which I am, is not well-suited for that.
I’ve got three poles of varying height, which could get me into trouble if I don’t treat them just right. They’re my spotters. That super tall one I’m not sure about.
I have two 5 pound dumb bells and two 10 pound dumb bells.
I already know how to do yoga, been doing it all my life. I’m not very good at holding positions for very long though. It’s that need to move thing I have. I learned over the years that simply stretching without being so mechanical is most beneficial for me.
Breathing is important and I can hold my breath too long and end up dead. So all that training before sleep for all those years might help if I was ever water-boarded, but all it did was expand my lungs, the relaxing part when in extreme positions is not really my thing, although I do it well.
I was hypnotized once or a few times to quit smoking (different people, different times) back in the early eighties. With this one guy, I went back – satisfaction guaranteed – and said it didn’t work. He said yes it did, you were hypnotized, you had all the requirements, galvanic skin response, pulse, respiration. I said, well that may be true and I’m not doubting that I got into a state, but it didn’t do as you promised, make me not smoke. You were hypnotized, he said. I said, perhaps I could have been, had you not gotten up and tip-toed to lock the door. Yeah, yeah, he said he did that so nobody would come in. I’m thinking I was the only one there, who’s going to come in? He didn’t even have a receptionist. So I did get into what some might call a hypnotic state, like I said, I do it every night before sleep, but I was very alert in my state-ready position to pounce if I had to. First thing, when I got back to the car was light up.
Sorry for digressing so much, must be the Fenugreek I’ve been wrestling. Too little, too much? I’ll figure it out.
Been taking 1/4 teaspoon of Creatine powder in my coffee each morning along with 1/4 t. Fenugreek powder. It’s too early to tell anything about it. Something I learned was it takes a while for effects of supplements to effect the body in any significant way. It takes time. Sure I can lose 6 pounds in 6 days, but I can’t do that every six days. It doesn’t work that way. I like results. Everybody does, sooner rather than later, caught on as a phrase because everybody identified with it.
I figure I’m working up to something, like a dance I do before painting, cooking or writing.
We finally decided to go the caffeine-free route, doing now and then half caffeine/half espresso, probably on week-ends. Neither of us, especially me, likes regimentation, but I’m beginning to lean that way. One night a week animal-free burger night. Sundays are for brunch. One day a week pasta and red sauce. We both need more routine in our lives, especially now with age and COVID out to get us. Everyday, some sort of regimented exercise. I can’t go to bed without it. If I do, then I have to exercise in bed – leg lifts 100 in every direction usually quiets the nerves in my body, which remnants of the coronavirus seem intent on sparking to keep me awake.
At almost 73 years old I still take no prescribed medication. I must be doing something right I often tell myself. That knowledge, however, doesn’t make me slack off of me.
Way back in the early eighties again I read a piece in one of the muscle magazines about a then 50 year old woman, who told her body building story. Now decades later what I recall of it and did recall from time to time throughout the years is her saying she couldn’t slouch if she wanted to.
I’m on board with that. That’s my goal as far as body building goes. Don’t laugh, I know, I know, Lanky Sharon Lee doing the body kick to sit like a stick. No kicking, remember no injuries.
I’ll get there, sooner rather than later. I’m all set up for it.
Be good to yourself,
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