Saturday, June 6, 2009

The straw that broke Riz's back

After working 10 hours gardening on Friday, I skipped a lecture by Sue Olson, friend and fern guru, through the Hardy Fern Foundation, to hit the gym. I had skipped two workouts this week because of my packed schedule and I wanted to make sure I got my work out in. After weeding, planting and hauling hoses all day and dealing with jeans that didn't quite fit properly, I was already feeling kind of sore, but I had to keep my day going.

Over the past few years, I've been making a serious effort to get into a regular exercise regiment to maintain my weight, improve my physical fitness, and reduce my chances of debilitating health conditions that run in my family such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. With my hectic work schedule and commitments, I make sure to get my exercise in on my calendar.

My workout routine is fairly low impact as I have a left knee that I must always be careful of, chronic lower back pain due to overuse when I used to dance regularly, and I limit my workouts depending on how I'm really feeling that day. Years of dance training has aided my workouts as I have a very intensive warm-up and stretching regiment and after some cardio and resistance training, I sneak into a vacant dance studio, tune into my iPod and play around with some movement.

I may not take classes or perform anymore, but I always try and keep up technique. I guess the downside of it all is I don't have anyone to correct me if something is off or tell me that I've done enough and it's time to cool down and hit the locker room. As some of you know, I used to be a active figure skater and one of my favorite moves I often practice off ice is a leap called a "falling leaf" split jump.

Practice 3 blur

Here's the infamous Michelle Kwan in 2002 in her free program to "Scheherazade'. See the "falling leaf" executed on 4:07.

So, I was practicing a few of those on the floor and after only three, I felt a twitch on my lower back. I grabbed my towel and water bottle and gingerly walked out of the studio and sat down on some mats to do some stretches and massaged the affected region.

The next day is always the hardest and it didn't help that I had to walk the UW campus to help some students review for a plant ID final exam and run to a nursery to return some plants. The pain radiated to my stomach and I felt fatigued as if I had another onset of a cold occurring. I think what was going on in my head seemed more aggravating as the weather has cooled down considerably and it seemed like an optimal time to do a lot of work at Landwave. The pain was irrigating, but being unable to work and go about the endless projects I need to take on seemed more unbearable. Maybe I shouldn't have gone to the nursery to drop off plants and pick up some items for a client, but I simply couldn't help it.

It's the mentality now: NO WORK = NO LIFE. I feel like I have to be working constantly to keep up with everyone else.

Am I overworking myself and this injury is a painful indication of that?

Is this what I risk happening at times if I continue on with this kind of work schedule and lifestyle?

It's been incredibly frustrating thinking that others do what I do and even more so, yet they don't regularly suffer these sort of setbacks.

Dear lord, I'm only just about to turn 27 and I have ailments a 70 year old complains about. I've been known to have an "old soul", but I think the body is catching up to it.

Time to lie down now...


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