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treading miles through gulfs of oil

I have been very dissatisfied with myself of late. Before my back went out, I was fairly active, going to my martial arts school two or three times a week and going to two different styles of yoga twice a week: Ashtanga yoga and a gentle Kripalu yoga. I could walk miles without breaking a sweat and my doctor once told me I had the lung capacity of a marathon runner.

Then the back started to deteriorate. I don’t know why. It could have been a long ago diving accident or maybe I was just blessed with the bad “saboe” back that plagued my dad and others in our family. At any rate, I slowly had to give up Ashtanga yoga, then my TaeKwonDo/Karate/Aikido classes, then lastly my gentle yoga classes. I lived on percocet until my surgery, at which point I felt I’d been given a second chance.

My surgery was successful. I could walk again, and even though I was left with painful nerve damage in the right leg/foot, I was so much better that the nerve pain wasn’t more than an annoyance. Even so, I soon realized I would not be able to resume martial arts training or any sort of vigorous yoga practice. My surgeon recommended Pilates, which I began doing with wonderful results. Really strengthened my core, but did nothing for the weight gain that came with the decrease in my activity level. Eventually, I had to give it up due to the expense (why is Pilates so expensive?). I tried walking, but honestly, I dislike walking in my neighborhood because it is very hilly here and even with the bolts in my back, inclines == severe back pain. Then I got hold of a stationary bike. ouchouchouch. The seat just hit me in the wrong place, causing pain in my lower back and legs. All this fitness failure has been making me very despondent.

A couple years ago, my aunt downsized and sold my sister her treadmill. Lori’s experience with the treadmill mirrored mine with the bike, so a few days ago we did a fitness equipment trade and I think this will work for me. I’ve vowed to do at least 1 mile a day to start, and have even found a way to mitigate the boredom of walking in place in the basement — C-SPAM!! — er, I mean C-Span!!

Yes, I take my laptop down to the basement, balance it on a big box on top of an old tv-tray and then log onto C-Span and watch congresscritters grill BP, Transocean, and the rest of the culprits. Today, I did a mile and a half in what seemed to be no time. I’m up to where the tar balls hit the Florida keys.

I have a feeling that with the help of Congress, I will finally lose this post-surgery weight.

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