Monday, February 18, 2008

Stereotypical 42-year-old Male...

I'm 42. Soon to be 43. And I'm out of shape. Yep. Happens to the best of us.

Actually, I was in pretty good shape about a year go. Weight was down to about 190-195, decent stamina. A little belly. Then I quit Kung Fu. So for the last year, I've been pretty sedentary. Weight's gone up to about 205, stamina is gone, belly is rounder.

And the problems began in November.

Rewind to about middle of 2005. I fell out of my trash can. We have a large green waste barrel with wheels. I would routinely climb inside to stomp down the leaves and such. Like I said, I was a martial artist and had pretty good balance. Always have. But I stepped on the wrong edge and the barrel shot out from under me and I dropped 4 feet onto my right shoulder. A quick massage; a chiropractic adjustment and I'm good to go.

Then I quit Kung Fu.

And got lazy.

And then the pain in my right shoulder started. Adjustments would last about 2 hours. A massage and an adjustment would last about 3 hours. Chiropractor said my muscles were out of shape. "Not that you're out of shape" he quickly added to which I responded, "Yes....yes I am!"

Then one morning this past November I woke up and my whole right arm was numb. Fingers were tingling like they were "asleep". But they never woke up. A week later, still had the problem. Chiropractic adjustments and massage wasn't working. Off to see the doctor. X-rays show I have arthritis in my spine; C5, C6, C7. And degenerative disk disease at C6. (This is in addition to the degenerative disk disease I have a L4, L5!)

Apparently the exercise I used to get at Kung Fu kept those muscles strong enough to compensate for the arthritis and bad disk. Once they started to atrophy they couldn't hold it together. Then they spasmed when the disk slipped and impinged the nerves.

It took 8 weeks of physical therapy to get the knot out and relax the muscles around the nerve bundle. During that 8 weeks I was exercising and stretching the muscles...working them out. I still have the occasional twinge, especially if I sleep on my side for too long. What's a guy to do??

Well, I thought I'd join a gym and work out. I hate gyms. So I thought I'd buy a home workout routine. Almost pushed the buy button on this but my wife said, "Hey! I've already got it!" I watched the DVD and figured "I can do this!"

So. I'm 42 and finished my first workout in over a year. My legs are rubbery as are my arms. I was sweating and panting for almost a half an hour after I finished the meager 30 minute workout. And that was just circuit training. Cardio is tomorrow...

I think I'm going to hurt a bit by Friday!


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