< June 25, 1998 >

d*stress

You know that saying about one drop of water doesn't clean out a bucket of muck, but that one drop of muck into a bucket of water turns the water into muck? Maybe it's not a saying, just an example. Or something.

Reality, perhaps.

It was a really nice evening, on the whole. The bit of muck, though was a guy that followed Fezzik around the neighborhood in his car (Dawn was sure that the guy was afraid of Fez, so wouldn't get near him) with a bag of shit and started yelling at anyone whose house Fezzik got near about how the big dog was desecrating his lawn and frightening his small dog. He did the same when Fezzik got to our house. Ugh. The guy was nasty and pretty much pissed off all the neighbors against him, amusingly enough. No one else had any problems with Fezzik and thought the guy ought to be locked up for going so off the handle at everyone. Interesting that a few folks even voiced the opinion that they agreed with Fezzik's assessment of the guy's personality if Fezzik had actually shit on his lawn.

Anyway, the guy demanded that Fezzik not be allowed out anymore on his own and that he'd call animal control the next time it happened. The end of an era, in some ways. Fezzik was there before any of the houses came up, so it's gonna be odd for Fez to no longer have his territory to roam, but I guess it was, in some ways, past time that we actually kept him home or took him only on supervised walks. Have to admit that I wouldn't want him to be alone when confronting someone as nasty as that. The neighborhood has gone well downhill if there are folks like that in it. So I'd likely feel happier about Fezzik's safety if I went with him. It's kinda sad, but it's life, I guess.

The good bits of the evening were that John got a call that cleared up a lot of church things that had been hanging over us while we went on vacation. Not so much the moderator stuff, but the Lee things hit the fan just before we left and we got a lot of support to work things out. So that was good.

Also, I experimented with a pita bread recipe and got the surprise of my life when the stuff not only rose but also puffed up hugely enough that it actually made a pocket! That surprised the heck out of me as there wasn't really anything special about the recipe that indicated that it would actually create a pocket bread. But basically the dough cooked on the cast iron skillet and when turned properly, puffed up enormously, splitting itself into two sides that, when the bread cooled and deflated, became the sides of the pocket. Wow.

It turned out beautifully.

Another nice thing was that John made dinner, a taco salad that was munchy and yummy and nice. The dinner really helped my blood sugar enough that I had enough brain to finally remember the Hansen's D*STRESS I'd bought from Trader Joe's the other day. I chugged it.

It has a bunch of stress reducers, all natural, supposedly, but it's still chemical cocktail of an interesting sort. St. John's Wort with chamomile and other things that help relaxation in homo sapien body chemistry. It worked. To a T. I couldn't believe how much stress I'd been carrying around and with it still in my system we watched the Nigerian game that I'd taped and then went to sleep, and I probably had the best night's sleep I've had in weeks.


Woke up around 7:30, so that we could get ready in time for me to get to my 9 a.m. physical therapy set. Paul K. asked me what I do during those two hours sessions as he works out pretty regularly and an entire 2 hour workout boggled him a bit as he knew that you can workout a lot, but there's a point past which the body just gives out. Mine nearly did again, today.

Okay. First is ten minutes on the stationary bike. Then out to the parking lot, where there's at least two sets of me trying to jog forward and not getting too far too fast because Rick's hanging onto me through the belt. Then a set of going backwards that makes all the hamstrings just *ache*. Those are only halfway up the parking lot and back. Then I nearly fall over, so we go inside and I do the flextion stretch, which is basically trying to get the knee to go straight.

That's just me sitting on the table with my ankle on a rolled up towel with a ten pound weight on my knee, doing its gravity best to get my knee to straighten. After that it's two sets of fifteen sideways lunges to each side while attached, this time, to Terry through the stretch band. Then three sets of fifteen front lunges off each foot, while pushing forward against the band.

She then gave me a choice of step-downs or linebacker squats. The step-downs are harder, and it's basically a exercise step, of about eight inches, and I stand on it with my bad leg and then touch the heel of my good leg's foot to the ground, without putting weight on it, and then straighten the bad leg again. So it's like stepping down but never transferring weight. Three sets of fifteen. Then another three of fifteen on the squats, which are low down squats.

After that is the starboard which has spokes going out 20 inches, cutting the circle into eighths. I bend the right knee while touching the heel of the left foot to each of the ends of those spokes. All the way back along all the spokes of 180 degrees, and then all the way back to the front, that's one repetition, so I do ten of those, which is about 140 small knee bends. The next bit of equipment that I don't have at home is an eight and a half inch in diameter and eight and a half pound rubber ball, that I put between my knees, do a half a squat with my back to the door, and then squeeze the heavy ball for three sets of fifteen counts of five.

Step ups are a lot easier. Just forty stepping up on a step and then stepping back down off it. The weight transfer is complete and quick. So that's fast and simple. But I'm starting to finally get that dull ache in my knee that says that the muscles are tired. So the final thing is getting on a wheeled stool and pulling myself along with my foot, doing a lot for the hamstring set again.

Well, there's three more things. One is getting up on the examination table, on my knees and steadily and gradually putting my weight back, as it's now the only way I can really stretch the bending of my knee, solidly. By basically putting all my weight slowly on the joint and letting it relax and bend. We got it to 151 degrees today. Starting from 100, that's a lot. The second thing is getting iced. They wrap a bit ice pack around my knee with a wet towel around it to conduct the cold without freezing me, and a solid bandage. Then Rick put a five pound weight on top of my knee and that rolled up towel under my ankle, so that made it so that the leg had to straighten again.

So that was another twenty minutes of getting iced and more straight. By then it was well past 11 a.m. and I was all goopy. So I showered, which was the third thing, and then went to work. I have to admit that with all the extra hours I put in the weeks before, I am not at all worried about the time that it takes. There have been enough weekend days that it's more than made up for.

So that's what I do for about two hours.


Work is slowly winding down. There is one more push for the next week, but that should be it. Yay! Complete cleanup is nice. One thing I've realized is that after that workout of two hours, I'm a lot more stable and steady than I was the night before. Violent exercise is good for the soul.

Charlie should be visiting for the weekend, from Albuquerque, this'll be interesting. Realized, after Trip flew up here just to see Kit, that I may be part of a new kind of jet set, where it isn't the fabulously rich, but simply those that are willing to step out of what was once ordinary and actually get together more frequently simply by stepping on a jet. It's kinda interesting to see just how many visitors I get from Out of Town, to the point where it's not that strange or different anymore.

Anyway, it'll be good to see him and actually get to work on his back.

Oh, for those that follow Fiat Justitia, Charlie plays Eduardo, the Malakite of Fire.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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