361. Priorities

The leg press at Ai Ai's gym.

The leg press at Ai Ai’s gym.

Coach R has spent several weeks teaching me how to get off the leg press: There’s a narrow bar here (pointing) you can use for balance.

Me: Hey, R – How ‘bout I just roll off and you catch me as usual?

Despite this method’s 100% success rate, he prefers good form. I’ll be doing my single-leg duty on the press and his disembodied voice (I think he’s in some other part of the gym), will exhort me to control the movement more. On Day 1 I was on the elliptical and he stood in front making the same corrections Trainer D had made the week before. Apparently I hadn’t internalized them. But the fact that my deficits have been consistently identified makes me think I’d better absorb what these people are saying and try to do things right.

I love going to the gym with my sister. She’s the first Tan to exercise this much. Ever. I like to sit on the recumbent bike while she goes to classes, plus the leg press is safely configured for my use. Today was the first day I noticed the problem these people have been talking about! I’ve kind of been taking their word for it and doing what they say as the path of least resistance. But today I did a couple reps without thinking and saw my knee cave in so I understood why these guys are so terribly intent on getting it to move correctly. Once I concentrated I was able to get it right(er).

328.  Operation Clean

328. Operation Clean

Now I’m turning my attention back to Recovery and trying to get things right. I took a break from Operation Clean and Managing Me. I slept entire days away. I also stopped eating normally and relied heavily on protein shakes (I’m back on [vegan] protein powder per the Miyagis). The only reason my parents tolerated this is that I was obviously distressed pre-Oregon. CMD looked at my tongue and knew something was wrong. While my home exercise schedule was thrown off exercising with a pro helped a lot.

We got here on Ed’s Birthday – April 7. I slept for about 2 weeks after that. But I decided that I should start “working” soon. So I got a notebook from CVS and scribbled my to do lists. The first page was reserved for “Priorities” – e.g.

  1. Recover from OR
  2. Run on the AlterG
  3. Get stronger, build stamina for next ENT appointment (so my cords look good and no one wants to touch anything)

After I started exercising more and running I started carrying myself differently. I’m working on core strength for my ADL’s, but it’s also important for the kind of lifestyle I’m aiming for.

I gave a short devotional for some ladies here and I was strong enough to practice and hit my time targets (almost). At the meeting I sat upright and concentrated on breathing. My last ST got in my head re. the “residual air” problem, and Coach R talks to me about leveraging air for greater exertion. Trainer D just tells me to breathe so I don’t pass out, throw up, or cry.

My lawyer, K, said my voice was stronger when he saw me in Oregon (his family had visited us in MD the prior year). After I spoke to the ladies, Miz A told me there was a big difference bw how I was able to use my voice this year vs. last year.

223.  I Found Grace in the Valley

223. I Found Grace in the Valley

Additionally, ORFR is now about pain management. I have less pain now :), and there has been no more bruising since I started, although I’ve made significant gains in distance and speed.

So I’m making good progress in getting back on track. CMD had suggested massage as an alternative and Boo Boo was able to recommend two therapists. I was sad last year when I regressed. But this time around I made a game plan. Actually, I told it to Boo Boo and she executed it bc I was…erm…a little distracted. Thanks, Boo Boo!

My theory has always been that increasing my lung capacity would improve my voice. I think it’s working. But I’ll tell you what the ENT says next month. My new theory is that learning to run will improve my digestive strength. I told Trainer D (via postcard) that I hope to eat some/more fish. This is in deference to J (Mrs. Trainer D/Mrs. Miyagi) – she is Team Tanimal’s dietician. Sadly, I tried reintroducing fish just after I started feeling pre-Oregon sick, and I was trying to eat 1 oz here and there but I couldn’t keep it down. Perhaps the problem was that I wasn’t keeping anything down at that time, but whatevs.

When CMD looked at my tongue that week she said, What happened?!?!??! So I told her how Trainer D was getting all up in my grill (not J – Trainer D just recruited her to weigh in since she’s got the street cred) re. eating animal products but how I clearly was not ready for them so I was going to tell him to go away. Okay, she agreed tentatively, but don’t hurt his feelings.

We’ve established that the likelihood of his feelings being injured is low, but I explained how I don’t say a lot of things I could say since I don’t want poor Mommy to have to follow me around for the rest of my life, apologizing to people.

So now I’m concentrating on getting stronger and eating appropriately. I’m not doing great at the eating yet, but I am closely monitored. Last year Mommy told me Ai Ai was going to be like the KGB and report back on my diet. This year Timmy has taken to quizzing me regarding my protein intake and sources during the day. As always, prioritizing my Recovery is a team effort.

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