Apr 20, 2010

Along Country Roads...

I haven't read any Donald Miller stuff in a while, but I'm reading Through Painted Deserts. It's a journal of his leaving home via a road trip with a friend some years back. They took several weeks to drive from Texas to Oregon, where he lives to this day.

I've only read two of his other books--Searching for God Knows What and the ever-popular Blue Like Jazz. I like his style of writing. It's very conversational, almost stream-of-consciousness, and quite poetic at times (The first two make me feel like I could be a real writer. The last one not so much, 'cuz I'm not all that poetic). His words just sort of seem to wander out onto the page. It's deceptive, though, because I think it takes a whole lot of skill to sound so casual while conveying ideas so nicely.

Anyway, he's becoming so popular that I shy away from his stuff a little bit...but I really do like everything of his that I've read. I don't agree with everything he says but, you know, whatever.

The biggest idea I've gathered from Through Painted Deserts is how separating from the fast paced everyday life changed his perspective. It's in the same vein as the standard needs-vs.-wants discussion. He describes it as getting away from the lies that we start to believe when we are watching ads and living among people, such as those that tell us that eating certain foods or wearing certain clothes and so on will somehow fulfill us. Meanwhile, when we get out of the marketing bombardment we find so much to enjoy in the things God has put right in front of us. Like nature, sunrises, and such.

It's good timing because I've been thinking along those lines lately. The other night I took out the trash and it was the perfect kind of night for doing such a thing: chilly but not frigid and dark enough to see a few stars, but sort of bright as far as nighttime skies go. I was outside maybe 30 seconds but I slowed enough to take it in and be aware of the quiet and the beauty.

A week or so ago I ran with a friend. She did 10 miles because she's training for a marathon in the fall. I am not training for a marathon in the fall but I am training for a 10K in a month, so the Cat Daddy dropped me (and the Littler One, safely strapped into the single jogger) off at her halfway point, and we did the second 5 miles together. Nearly half the run was along a quiet stretch of road looking down upon the whole city, so while it wasn't all that early it was still calm and lovely, and reminiscent of the sunrise runs I used to take back in the day (and plan to take again eventually). We were talking about the simplicity of running. That's one of the things I love about it--grab a pair of running shoes and you're good to go. No extra equipment or gear to lug around. At least, none that's required. You can get into headphones and heart rate monitors and all sorts of fun stuff, but you don't need those things to go for a run.

When we reached her house, we high fived as her husband brought out tall glasses of water for us, and then we basked in the endorphins a bit before stretching out and getting back to the grind of chores and screaming kiddos.

The thing I love about morning runs is doing something that is just for me as the first task of the day. After I finish my run I'm more ready to take on the regular grind (other than wanting to take a nap, that is). It's another little way of sticking it to the man a little bit...

Apr 14, 2010

Fun While It Lasted...

So, my sacrum held for a week. Now it is out again. Lame.

I'm disappointed but fully functional, so that's something. It could be much, much, worse--a fact I am aware of, and grateful that it isn't so.

And hey, at least I don't have tuberculosis...

Apr 7, 2010

Normal Is Wonderful...

For the moment, my butt is in place.

Butt bootcamp went off without a hitch over the course of the latter half of January and all of February. I came away feeling stronger and more fit, which was a good feeling. I also came away feeling awesome, as I had declared myself as such early in the program.

Sportsmetrics involves plyometrics, which is a highly technical term for jumping. It's aimed at female soccer players--high schoolers in this case--for ACL injury prevention. I was a bit of an odd (wo)man out, having been out of high school for a few years, and being there to try to stabilize my butt instead of my knee, but whatever. Hanging out with high school girls made me miss all the great parts about teaching in my previous life. And after I declared myself awesome, they kept calling me awesome. Which was awesome.

Since the end of Sportsmetrics, I've been back for 2 follow-up visits so that the PT could try to whack my sacrum back into place, as it had been out for several months. No dice the first time, but finally, today, she did it. Now, anyone out there in the manual therapy related fields, if you ever want a case study, lemme know because I have it on high authority that I have one seriously stubborn sacrum. And anyone in the Cheyenne area who needs some PT, also lemme know because I can give you names and numbers...these guys are good, I tell you.

My problem seems to be whatever ligament it is back there. Sacro-tuberis? Something like that. The running theory is that, way back in high school softball when I dove backward (more or less) to catch a fly ball and threw it out of whack initially, the ligament loosened enough to make it really difficult for the SI joint to remain stable. On top of this, it took 9 years before the root problem was diagnosed (my main symptom is headaches--not so easy to deduce that my butt would cause them), so that was frustrating. And it seems I have joints which, to begin with, are on the loose end of normal, which isn't necessarily a problem, but throw in a trauma such as a fall and things can get a little hinky. And you can't just up & re-tighten a ligament. In my case the best option seems to be to compensate for the loosy-goosy ligament with muscle strength; hence my myriad exercises and semi-obsession with all things core strength.

Things were good for a while with this approach, but ever since I started having kids it hasn't been the same. It could be that the hormones of pregnancy and nursing (of which I've been doing one or the other constantly for the past 4 years) are keeping my joints just loose enough that the sacrum flops about all willy-nilly. I'm actually hoping that this is the case, because even though it means no certain end to the problem for a while, it also means that there will be an end. The scarier thought is having to consider other medical options involving needles and such, which I would consider, but only as a last resort and I'd have to think long and hard about them.

So I'm not sure how much hope to hold out that my sacrum will hold out. If it follows recent patterns, in 2 weeks it will slip at some random moment as I'm sitting down to use the bathroom or something. This would be frustrating, but not surprising. If you are a praying sort of person, please pray for me and my butt.

In the meantime though, I'm trying hard to keep perspective on the situation and enjoy the relief while I have it. If you hear me murmuring about how good my butt feels, bear with me because it really does feel wonderful when it feels normal.