My Poor Old Body

on December 2, 2012 in Misc

You know what?  We writers sit way too much.  Especially when we also have day jobs where we sit all day at desks.

Too much sitting isn’t good for you.  It lowers your metabolism. It can lead to diabetes and other medical problems.  And in my case, it has shortened certain muscles that hurt like hell to stretch out again.

Remember my left leg and hip problem?

I told you a while back about how they were hurting.  Besides too much sedentary work, what hasn’t helped me is being a fencer, which means moving and lunging only on my right side.  Then there’s the very slight (3/8”) differential in my leg lengths.  So maybe it shouldn’t have been a big surprise last August when my left hip started giving me screaming aches and pains.

Okay, maybe I wasn’t screaming.  But I’m a writer and like to be dramatic.

Well, I ran through my insurance-allotted 12 physical therapy sessions pretty quickly, and some nutritional supplements also helped.  Now I’ve discovered that I only feel better not only when I keep up my therapy exercises but when I get into certain stretching positions and hold them … and hold them… and hold them….

Talk about a real pain.

See, the therapists were having me do a couple stretches that last 45 seconds, switch legs, then do again.  But for my body this is too wuss.  Instead I’ve found I should get into several different very uncomfortable positions and stay in them for three to six minutes each.  Then repeat that night.  And do other stretches during the day.

The funny thing is, I’ve always done stretches and have long considered myself to be fairly limber.  But it turns out I’ve only been taking care of this big muscles over here and that one over there, and meanwhile these little funky muscles I never knew about were shrinking like wool in hot water (aggravated by sitting and normal aging), and since everything in my body is connected, this shrinking muscle pulled on that one, which tightened up a tendon, which pulled another muscle out of whack… and so forth.

One small bonus:  I can only do these stretches while watching TV, and that gives me an excuse to watch some shows.  This is because I’m literally in a position where I can’t do much anything else because I’m on my floor mat in various pretzel positions and gripping certain body parts.

Anyway, I really am lucky.  I mean, it’s just aches and pains.  I know so many people – including teenagers – who’ve had knee replacements, or have blown out their knees skiing, or needed shoulder surgery, or elbow surgery, or their backs have hurt them for years.  One older guy in fencing has a bad back but he can still whup the tar out of me in every bout.

So let my sorry, sore body be a lesson to you.  As you sit at your computers and write your novels, get up frequently and MOVE and STRETCH and RUN AROUND THE HOUSE and whatever else feels good.  Your body will love you for it.

15 Responses to “My Poor Old Body”

  1. That’s why I go to the gym several times a week and always stretch. And every so often, I change up my routine so I hit new muscles.
    And any excuse to watch TV works, right?

  2. I try to be more active. Lately though, I’ve been drawing a lot. Just started a new project on Saturday and already burned through some colored pencils that I need to run to the art store today to replace. Doing that in front of the T.V. on the easel is just as bad as writing. However, my new picture is turning out smokin’ hot. I really shouldn’t get this excited about my own artwork, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

  3. Helena says:

    Alex – Yeah, I knew you were in shape, you Ninja warrior. I’ve learned the hard way to mix up my own routine.

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – Oh, you can get excited because you really are a good artist. Gonna be showing on your blog, I hope?

  5. No, but I will post it in “My artwork” section quietly because I link to that section on the website where I post my steamy ass fantasy fiction that gets a lot of views (and people from the steamy site write me fan mails). For some reason, the majority of my regular blog followers are VERY conservative, so it’s not something I’ll parade in front of them.

    When I finish it, I will drop you a note so you can go and check it out. It’s only 1/3 done, but the guy is ‘almost’ naked (wearing an olympic swimsuit-style leather thong/brief thing.” I’m having a lot of fun detailing all of the muscles and veins with coloring pencil. I think when I get done posting my novella (I’m doing a chapter a week), I’ll self-pub it and use my art that I’m working on as the cover. Then I’ll start posting the second novella (again on same steamy website).

  6. Helena says:

    Michael – I’ve gotta say, I’ve never read any steamy ass fantasy fiction, but I’ll certainly check out your almost naked guys. I really wish I could draw muscles and veins in human forms instead of middle school level bad sketches.

  7. Ciara Knight says:

    I hear you. I’m still waiting for those shiny new discs for my back. Too bad insurance won’t cover them. Stretching helps us all. It’s so important.

  8. Helena says:

    Ciara – I wish you could have your shiny new discs.

  9. Hart Johnson says:

    You’re so good. I hope the stretching keeps it all at bay. I really need to get stretching back in my life, too.

    And by the way… I started The Compass Master this week and am LOVING IT. I am so incredibly impressed with all you know and I’m totally sucked in!!!

  10. Helena says:

    Hart – Thank you so much for reading TCM! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did The Azalea Assault. But hey, with your incredibly busy schedule, how can you find time to stretch? Maybe you can edit and write while assuming positions (in your case, of course, while naked).

  11. Ciara Knight says:

    BTW – I forgot to mention. I LOVE that cat pic! :)

  12. I don’t exercise enough. I walk some and stretch some, but not enough. I need a trainer with a gun to make me move my body.

  13. Helena says:

    Carol – Hey, if your body feels okay, that’s good. And I love your trainer with a gun image.

  14. Old Kitty says:

    I’m a real fan of Rosemary Conley’s workout dvds – she’s pushing nearly 70 but she looks half her age and I just love love love her workouts – they are all very practical – 10 minutes high octane aerobics plus stretches so imagine my dismay when some cad gave a 1 star review on amazon of one of her dvds saying she spent “too much” time on the stretching warm ups and cool downs and not enough running around. I’m like – but that’s good for you!! Stretching is good for you! LOL!

    Anyway – aww that poor bandaged up kitty! Take care

  15. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – Good for you and Rosemary’s workout! A lot of people underestimate the importance of stretching, which really is essential. I know 30-year-olds in great aerobic and strength shape who didn’t stretch and are now in physical therapy.