Last night I fell asleep in my daughter Lucia's bed at 8:45pm. It's a pretty common Wednesday night ritual in our house. Every Wednesday for the last six or seven years I have woken up between 4:00am-4:30am to be able to get coffee and still have time to get the studio ready for the 6:00am Yoga class. On Wednesday nights, our reading ritual is always cut short because my eyes involuntarily close. I love that my 10 year old will still have me; I know it won't be long before she thinks I'm a total goober 24/7.
At midnight, a sharp pain in my knee woke me up. It was the familiar yank that I felt right after I injured it more than three weeks ago in Mexico. I thought it was getting better. I've tried to stay off of it as much as possible. Swimming has been my most strenuous activity. I'm not even walking to the grocery store or to the lake. How sedentary can I get without losing my mind? I'm an endorphin junkie. I need to move. I am not myself if I cannot sweat, breathe hard, ache a little bit.
But that pain last night wasn't good. I don't want to feel that again. I am committed to getting on the road to recovery, not staying on this tenuous path of moderate activity. So today I am resting. Completely. I drove three blocks to the hardware store on Capitol Hill this morning. I parked close to the bank. When I got home I had so much extra time! No Yoga. No running. Not even a walk!
I made a list for myself. There's studio business to take care of. I have house bills to pay. I'm still hashing out Lucia's summer schedule and getting everyone's SweatBox vacation schedules dealt with. I baked 800 bran muffins to freeze and 40 pounds of granola that I'll now have to figure out what to do with. I have a bunch of sewing I want to do. But it's not the same. The weather outside is the perfect temperature for running. It's overcast and the sun is intermittently peeking out. I can see the lake. I can smell it.
My sister, a non-exerciser, asked me what I could do instead of exercising. What the hell does that mean? My answer was "meditate." But honestly, that's not helping. Well, maybe it's helping a little bit....
The timing of this injury is not great. My partner Nancy, also a daily exerciser, has been unable to do yoga, run, spin for over a month due to a car-accident induced concussion. In addition to the effects from the concussion (headache, sound sensitivity, irritability), Nancy has been LOSING her mind from not exercising. When it first happened to her I felt bad. I thought I had empathy for her situation. But now I really get it. Limited physical activity really challenges people who have an endorphin habit.
Watching Nancy and now, noticing my own sedentary-induced angst, makes me dig a little deeper about how to get what I need. Is it possible? I know people do it. Look at Stephen Hawking! I'm still hashing out how to get from my mind what I am accustomed to getting from my body. It's frustrating, but I admit that it is a worthwhile exercise. I know my current physical state is temporary, and for that I am grateful. But, there will come a day, maybe far in the future, maybe sooner, when I might be faced with even more limits, and a gal can only bake so many bran muffins.