My blog posts have tapered off quite a bit, not because there hasn’t been anything worthy of writing about but because my time has been spent elsewhere. I am now approaching the second anniversary of my retirement and it’s time to do a bit of auditing.
Before I retired I had the idea that I wanted to blog, and talked about it, but really held off on making that a reality. I realized at that point that I was not where I wanted to be physically. I was fat, soft, and sedentary, and what I really needed to do was to get myself moving and in shape.
My theme for the first year was “65 going on 45”, and I started off running on that program. I retired on a Wednesday, on Friday saw a Facebook post by my friend Kerry (Full Tilt) Ward about needing a last-minute fill-in for an already booked trip, and on Tuesday was in Iceland starting a 10 day camper van excursion where we circumnavigated the entire island. My preference is to hang out with exceptional people, and there are few people more exceptional than Kerry Ward. He ran two 200 mile races that year, and just this past week was in Nepal trekking to Everest Base Camp. I know him well, and the pace of his adventures continually dizzies me!
I continued my progress with a four week, 8000 mile drive up to Vancouver, across Canada (stopping at yoga studios along the way) to Toronto, back into the US at Detroit, a family gathering northwest of Chicago, and then the drive back to Los Angeles. I was moving well and feeling fine, but made a strategic error while in transit across Canada. Feeling a bit uneasy about my drop in income I took what was supposed to be a part-time job with Claremont Graduate University.
I was to be a Mathematics Faculty Adviser supervising five student teachers at the middle and high school level. It sounded good when I first looked at it, but the reality was a shocker. For starters, there were weekly all-day class sessions on either Saturday (with students) or Thursday (schooling us faculty members) in Claremont, which is a 50 mile drive from Long Beach. Then my five students were placed in Walnut, Upland, Colton, Hemet, and Victorville. Both Hemet and Victorville are about 100 miles from Long Beach, and I was supposed to visit each site on the order of nine times. The distances involved, combined with the vagaries of block scheduling at the schools, made it pretty much impossible to make more than two visits a day. I found myself working more than I had before I retired, and for way, way less 😦 ! I was losing ground on my goals but was able to bail out on that commitment after the first semester. Whew!!
The rest of that first year was finally spent focusing on my rehab, and by the end of June I had reached most of my physical goals. I even considered myself camera-ready and engaged the lovely Ashley Corbin-Teich to take some pictures! I was also finally ready to start my blog, which I launched on the first anniversary of my retirement!
Once again, I hit the ground running. I set off in early July on a cross-country excursion, posting about places I visited along the way. I put up 24 posts in July, 14 in August, and 11 in September. In late August, though, I experienced one of those injuries and insults that mike life a challenge when I rode over a skateboard on my bike and ruptured two out of three of my triceps tendons on my right arm. I had surgery to repair that in early September. My surgeon was very concerned about the stability of the repair and put me on 12 months of restricted activity with respect to that arm. For the first six months I stayed off the bicycle and stayed out of yoga classes (sad face emoji here). I had six months of no down dogs!
On the one hand, my restricted activity did leave me plenty of time for blogging, and I kept up pretty good output on that front. I managed to get in a few notable excursions: there was the Vegas trip for Circus Couture, the side jaunt to the slot canyons in Utah, the drive down Baja to Cabo San Lucas with Kerry, another trip to Vegas to kidnap Amelia Earhart, and quite a few musical and artistic events. I managed to average six posts per month from September through January!
On the flip side the restricted activity, particularly the lack of bike riding, had me packing on the pounds. In early March I had gained 20 pounds and had enough of that, so I resumed bike riding and limited yoga classes. No power flows at the moment, still not up to full capacity on the yoga front, still riding in a rather wimpy gear, but at least back in the game.
The good side of that is I have managed to take off about 5 of those excess pounds, but the down side is that all that walking, riding, yoga classes, dance classes, mat Pilates classes, Gyrotonic sessions, physical therapy appointments, and private workouts break my day into segments that don’t work well for writing, especially given my propensity for chatting with all of the lovely ladies that I encounter during the day. As a result, I have only managed to put out one or two posts a month since then. It is not that I have not been to any blog-worthy events, but just a matter of finding the time to give them the treatment they deserve.
As of right now I still have 10-15 lbs to lose. I have made excellent progress in retraining my body to walk properly and have almost managed to eliminate the torque in my right spiral fascial line. My bad walking had twisted that line outward so that just standing in tadasana with my feet parallel required effort and some discomfort from my hip through my ankle. Now that effort is just about gone, and there is only a shadow of discomfort left where that line passes on the inside of the ankle joint. My foot is working properly, and I am finally getting my right hip working properly when I walk! Changing my gait has been a long, tough road (trace that spiral down from the spine to the foot, and all the stops in between–all of them had to be dealt with, and sometimes they didn’t like changing), but serious progress has been made.
On the down side, my lack of upper body activity, the fact that my right arm was pretty much useless for several months, and the fact that I discontinued my left-over exercises from the physical therapy that I did on my right rotator cuff, have conspired to whack out my left rotator cuff. So I am now back in PT again at Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group for that condition. I also need to investigate a problem with the outside of my right ankle. There is some kind of physical analog of an IED buried in there that still causes severe pain if I step wrong and keeps me from trusting that foot the way I would like to. Just another in that long line of injuries and insults that I have been dealing with.
As of right now I am physically a bit behind where I was at this same point last year, but I can also see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I have taken off the excess weight I will be able to move from rebuilding mode to a maintenance mode that requires time and effort, and I will then be able to get back into the blogging groove. I promise!!