Open to any other suggestions

My back is still bothering me and it’s getting old. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as those couple of days when I had the raging headaches, so I guess that’s a good sign, but every day there is something. Sometimes it’s just a minor ache between my shoulder blades and other times I can feel a big knot back there that sends pain up my neck and into my head. I’m starting to wonder if I’m becoming a hypochondriac. Maybe I am so worried about waking up with back pain that I talk myself into it. It’s not like it’s debilitating though and I’m not letting it drag me down. It’s just annoying and frustrating at times. I keep looking for triggers and trying different things to help me feel better. I’m eating better than ever, exercising more, and I’m making frequent use of an ice pack.

(Hmmmm… just a thought. Maybe my body was HAPPY with the unhealthy lifestyle to which it had grown accustomed. Maybe my back is protesting and demanding I bring back the chocolate and caffeine. It could be!)

Everyone who is aware of my problem has their own idea about the cause. Personally, I think my chiropractor may be on to something when he suggests it is stress related. I think subconsciously, I thrive on being stressed out to some degree. Others have their own ideas for a solution for me. Someone suggested that I need to make regular visits to a massage therapist. Another wonders if I need a new mattress. I should get a body pillow. I need to sit up straighter at my desk. I need to quit running. (Not an option. Running is one of my best stress relievers.) A different sports bra. (Ummm… okayyy.) More calcium. Iron supplements. Better vitamins.

I don’t think any one of these is the easy answer, although some combination of a few of these may help. For years I have taken a multi-vitamin every day. I just buy one of the well known brands that you can purchase at Target or the grocery store. Several times I have read articles stating that your body doesn’t really absorb these vitamins and they’re not as effective as the advertising might have you believe. So while visiting the chiropractor, I asked about the vitamins and supplements they sell. Caroline was more than happy to show me a bottle of high-quality multi-vitamins. She also suggested fish oil tablets.

“Everyone should take fish oil,” she advised me in a very serious tone.

“Really? What exactly do fish oil tablets do for you?”

“Oh, these are BRAIN food,” she exclaimed!

“Oh, I NEED some of those. I’ll take the vitamins too,” I told her without hesitation.

I don’t want to say what I spent for “good” vitamins and a bottle of brain food. Suffice it to say that for the same price I could get my favorite coffee drink at Starbucks every day for a couple of weeks. These better be good. I took some already when I got home from the chiropractor, so I’m hoping that brain food kicks in overnight and I wake up a genius or at least mildly creative.

I’ve also started getting out of the office for a while every day. Ten hours a day is a long time to be cooped up inside the office and sitting at a desk for the majority of that time. I’ve been changing into my tennis shoes and going outside with a couple of coworkers over lunch break. We take a brisk walk around downtown St. Paul. It’s funny. I never really stopped to notice what a beautiful place it is. Going out for a walk allows me not only to stretch my muscles but to take in a much needed change of scenery.

Wabasha Street Bridge 3 by you.We usually walk a few blocks from the office and cross this bridge over the Mississippi River. Once we reach the far side and turn around to make the trek back, it’s a nice uphill climb. The walk across the bridge and back takes up most of our lunch break and makes it so much easier to get through the second half of the day. And when the weather isn’t cooperative, we can walk through the maze of skyways instead. Once back at our building, we skip the elevators and take the stairs.

Hopefully, the new, healthier habits will add up to me feeling back to normal again soon, because if not, I may have to admit that it has something to do with the “O” word.

 

But I refuse to admit to getting OLD just yet.

I look good for my age, don't I?

I’m 58 years old.

I’m 58 with the strength of a body builder and the balance of a top-heavy toddler.

Yes, the Wii Fit has arrived at our house and it has confirmed for me that in spite of the compulsive nature of my Wii purchase, it was some of the best money ever spent, even if the Wii Fit was going to add sixteen years to my true age.

I was not even out of bed when my husband returned from Target this morning with the Wii Fit I have been coveting but unable to find in stock anywhere.

Yesterday, Mark made several trips to Target for jump drives necessary to transfer files from our ailing PC. Being computer challenged, he nagged me until I agreed to take a good look at it and ended up spending several hours of my Saturday trying to find a remedy for the computer’s sluggish behavior. I think I’m just going to wipe the hard drive. I’ve done it once before and am pretty sure I can manage it again.

Anyway, that was more explanation than was probably necessary to tell you why my husband had become close personal friends with Target electronics employee, John. And the fringe benefits of being friends with John (and spending as much money on jump drives as it would have cost to just buy a portable hard drive) is that John was willing to quietly divulge that a Wii Fit might be had if someone were to arrive at Target at 8:00 am when they opened on Sunday morning. I guess this was my reward for spending the better part of the first beautiful winter day in Minnesota in weeks inside the house. (Thirty some degrees and I spent my day indoors except for an early morning run.)

I was not even out of my pajamas (technically, a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt) when I opened up the box and surveyed the contents. I momentarily wondered if the morning after a late night of karaoke and a few beers was the best time to be assessing my fitness goals, but I couldn’t stop myself. I chose my trainer – the female one – thinking she might be easier on me than the male trainer, but she was kind of a slave-driver!

One of my first tests was to balance on one foot and do a few stretches. Trust me when I say this is harder than it looks. I might have benefited from a bit of caffeine first. I was all over the place and it didn’t escape my trainer’s attention that I put my foot down a time or two. Nothing gets past this chick. She’s a tough one, I tell ya! I think she was punishing me for last night’s indulgence with her scoldings. Either that or she didn’t like the looks of my stylish sunglasses and pouty full lips. (So I took some liberties when creating my Mii. Sue me.)

My husband and daughter were lounging in the chair and on the love seat watching my progress. I know full well that Mark has no intentions of creating a fitness profile on this thing, but he was barking out directions and criticizing my efforts.

“You’re lifting the wrong knee. Move the other direction.”

“You shut up and just concentrate on lounging in that chair,” I barked back at him. I was getting testy and breaking a sweat. I took a quick break to find some shorts, a sports bra and a t-shirt.

Next I tried some strength exercises since this is what I really need to work on. My arms have the strength of wet noodles, yet somehow I managed to complete an exercise pretty successfully and earned the ranking of …. body builder? Heh…No. That can’t be right. And my stomach muscles are aching now. Maybe there’s a six pack hiding in there somewhere. I mean, besides the liquid kind I drank last night. (No, I didn’t really drink that much. Six would put me under the table.)

I completed thirty minutes worth of exercises including ski jumping, the slalom and getting corked in the head with soccer cleats due to my complete and total lack of balance. I think the game asked me if I spend a lot of time tripping while walking. Nobody warned me that the game came pre-programmed with a smart-alec attitude! I forgave it though, since my weight measured about six pounds under what I normally see on the bathroom scale.

I’m going to give it another try tomorrow and see if I can’t make friends with my trainer. I’ll keep you posted.

Dragging

Maybe running two days in a row was too ambitious after a span of an entire week between runs. I just couldn’t help myself. It was 20 degrees this evening and I’ve been feeling like such a slug. When I glanced in the mirror this morning before showering, I did not like what I saw.

I felt so good after yesterday’s run that I convinced myself to go again tonight.  I told myself it would be invigorating and it would help to tighten up some of those lazy muscles. So off I went. And let me tell you, it was a struggle. The inclines felt like mountains, my lungs felt tight and the neoprene ankle supports did nothing to prevent the weak and achy feeling in my ankles (which I’ve only noticed since trying to run through snow. Maybe they’ll feel better when the pavement is dry again.) And the weirdest thing? I’ve realized that unless I make a conscious effort not to, I curl my toes under on my right foot  while I run. This can’t be good.

I went the entire distance but it wasn’t pretty. And in spite of the fact that the run itself did not feel like a success, I do have that hurt-so-good feeling. But I think tomorrow I’ll give it a rest.