Archive for May, 2012

So it’s been a while. Haven’t written here in what feels like eons. It’s not as if I don’t have time. I finished up at my old job recently and am doing slow entry into new, with a ‘real’ start date coming up soon at The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada.

This is Angus.

Unabashed plug for the wonder of donkeys now. If you want to ‘wash your soul and get it clean‘, go there. Pat a donkey. Bask in their calm, curious, accepting spirits. They are wholly themselves and it’s easy to be at peace around them.

Back to my other point. About writer’s block. (dream block, life block, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of block going on).

Many times I’ve sat here to write about what’s been going on since an MRI revealed surgery is the likely next step to get my knee into fighting trim – for the Camino, for daily life, for work that’s on a farm (my office there is in a beautiful converted drive shed).

I’ve always said I think with my hands so I’ve sat here, fingers poised, ready to go, eyes boring a hole into my computer screen. Come on hands, do your work!

No go. I couldn’t find the words. More important, I couldn’t find the thoughts. I had lost the narrative, lost touch with the main theme, couldn’t see how the plot-line I’d been working on for months was going to develop now with so many balls in the air and unanswerable questions.

So I have walked away from my desk, ok, hobbled, many times.

Yesterday – finally – I felt the threads reconnecting again, I had a sense of what had been happening, and the energy was there. So I wrote some words. And wrote. And wrote some more.

And then, just like that, they were gone. No idea what internet gods I angered. But gone for good they were. I fumed and fussed. Which did a *whole* lot of good.

Today I thought I’d give it another go, and be thankful instead of pissy, and recall everything I’d ever told anyone else in life about getting too wedded to your own words, that first drafts were often just a way of clearing out the pipes before the real spark gets ignited. So easy when you’re telling this to someone else! Still true. We’ll see if draft 2 is any better. No choice, really.

Tennessee Williams said “The future is called ‘perhaps’, which is the only possible thing to call the future.”

Many people have asked the reasonable question lately about whether I will in fact be doing the planned Camino hike this September.

More and more my answer has been perhaps. Maybe. Maybe perhaps in 2013?

And here’s the rub. I think that sense of ‘perhaps’ has taken over my brain. Putting off the Camino, even in theory and even with the attraction of possibly doing a much longer hike later, has translated into a kind of fuzziness about the whole thing at best, malaise at worst. I just could not see my way clear.

The initial surgical assessment is still weeks away. Then there will be the inevitable wait for non-emergency surgery. Unknown recovery time though this is an arthroscopic procedure which I’m told is pretty easy. Somewhere amid the waiting, I will be starting my new job with the donkeys.

It seems many timing stars have to align for a September Camino to happen.

Mind you, a Camino veteran recently suggested I stick with Camino plans but instead of walking, I should ride. On a donkey. Hmmm. Been done. See Travels with My Donkey. (next on my list of Camino reading, so I guess I am still pretty hooked).

I was reminded of a funny scene in The Way when one of the walking pilgrims – hot, tired, blistered – looks up to see a happy cyclist sailing by and says “What? You mean you can do that here?” Seems pilgrimage comes in many forms.

My heart is set on walking. That’s the rhythm and cadence I love best. I miss it.

So I finally packed in physio which I’m sure helped but I think had outlived its usefulness. And went back to the gym.

I’ve been going 4 times a week for the past several and will for as long as I can manage.

We have been doing a mix of rehab-style movement, stretching, and strength building (re-building) in ways that don’t strain my knee. Lots of upper body work but also working on muscles that support the knee so even that feels a lot better these days. The best part?

I am focused again – on what I *can* do, not on what the injury has kept me from doing. Energy returning. Thank you, Stefan, for the talks, the tailored workouts, helping me understand how I had let uncertainty become a drain. (and for the reminder I feel much better not only through movement but through healthy eating.)

Here’s a sample of what we’re doing in various combinations and circuits:

  • 30 lb FreeĀ  Motion chest press
  • 60 lb seated rows
  • 60 lb standing rows
  • 15 lb bench press (remember, the bar itself is 45 lbs so while this isn’t the dead-lift of old, it’s something!)
  • hamstring curls using the stability ball
  • assisted pullups. (This is the one where I began to strenuously regret the movie popcorn dinners, Dairy Queen visits ostensibly for the benefit of my young niece, and the deep-fried mushrooms I said were ‘just vegetables’). See the pic for details.
  • wall slides aka wall angels which sound benign and will make you cry.

Everything hurts today. In a good way! Seriously. This is what I need to do. I have decided to reaffirm my Camino goals. I can’t know how everything will turn out. Clearly, we never really do anyway.

Tennessee Williams concludes his statement about the ‘perhaps-ness’ of the future with “And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.”



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