“Lean to the left, lean to the right. Stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!”


‘Feeling the pain; paying the price’

I’m a day late with this post — and, it would seem, way more than a dollar short. I was in the City yesterday seeing a Pain Guy about my herniated disc. Turns out I need to have a rather pricey procedure involving an injection in my spine.

(Of course it’s not just the $$$ that was distracting me from coming up with a Fun Tuesday Topic; I am beyond nervous about getting a shot in my back — I’m sweating so much my fingers are sticking to the keys on my poor ole Mac.)

In the midst of my last marathon. I’m enjoying myself immensely, believe it or not

My more than twenty years of running around sixty miles a week is probably the culprit — though the packing, lifting, shifting and so forth that goes into moving apartments certainly hasn’t helped matters much.

The only way I am supposed to be moving furniture around the new apartment

And there’s the fact that, unlike Young People Today who “cross-train,” back in my Running Days, I would basically just get up in the morning, throw on my running duds, and take off. No stretching, no limbering up, not even any cooling down — and definitely no “working on my core.”

Me, modeling my racy Quick-Draw back brace. Didn’t help. Not nearly as much as bourbon

Oh, before I forget. The photo at the top of this page shows me not only slouching like the Teen that I was, it shows me back when I dearly wanted to be a cheerleader, cheerleading being the surefire fast-track to popularity back then. (Maybe it still is.) But, alas, I was — and am — singularly uncoordinated. I could barely follow the directions for the cheer in the title, much less execute a “cartwheel.” Goodness knows I never even tried a “split.”

Payoff to all that training: The Time I finished the New York Marathon in 3 hours, 23 minutes (in the top 100 women that year). Maybe my back hurts as punishment for all this bragging (!)

Until last month, when I started doing physical therapy (via Zoom, which is a virtual miracle for PT, and, honestly, the only way I ever want to “Zoom” — cocktails are meant to be sipped in person, if you ask me. Or all by myself, thank you very much.) Until last month, if you told me you were “working on your core,” I would think you meant you’d just about finished your apple.

PT…or not to PT…that is the question

Funny story about PT. (Yes, even Physical Therapy has its silly side; mostly when I’m trying — and failing — to do something like The Bridge.) Jennifer, PT Instructor Extraordinaire, in my very first session, had me lie on my back and asked me to “tighten my abs.” So I say, “Where on earth are my ‘abs’ — and how the hell do I tighten them?” Honest. I had no idea.

No problem locating this person’s “abs”

Well, after doing PT with the Amazing Jen twice a week since August and faithfully following my at-home program every single day I can now not only find my abs, they are my new Best Friends. I am constantly aware of them and can pretty much keep them nice and tight all the time. And after doing all those Bridges and Chair Squats? I now proudly claim Buns of Steel. Why, these cheeks could positively crack walnuts. (No worries, I don’t have a video — or even a photo — to prove this.)

Out on the trail, demonstrating both birding zeal and abysmal coreless pre-PT posture

But (pun actually intended) my pain, alas, has not subsided. Hence the specialist Pain Dude consultation yesterday. And (gulp) the appointment to get That Shot next week.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep on keepin’ on with the PT. And I’ll try my best to summon up something at least moderately amusing on Tuesday.

Goodness knows, since Tuesday is Injection Eve as well as my regular posting day, I’ll need some sort of distraction. Other than cocktail knitting, that is.

It doesn’t count as drinking alone if you have some knitting to keep you company

Amagansett, New York. October 2020


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20 thoughts on ““Lean to the left, lean to the right. Stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!”

  1. I hope the shot makes a big difference for you–better than the bourbon, even. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor since my hip gave me big trouble last year, and if nothing else, the reminder that I have to go and have him look at me (and adjust me) once a month, is enough to keep me stretching and sitting up straight. Me, a former ballet dancer–he told me my posture was terrible. So, I’m working on it. Not doing much about my core, but a twin pregnancy pretty much took care of doing that in! Be well and keep stretching (so key!)!

    • A former ballet dancer! And with bad posture! Now I KNOW I really like you. In all seriousness though, here’s wishing you the best of hip health. And I must add that I am impressed by your Twin Motherhood. I used to say that I wished I could have twins. Then, after having my one daughter, it hit me how incredibly exhausting it is to have a baby — of course, I was pushing forty at the time — so I changed my tune about twins!

      • Thank you, Alice. Hips are literally and figuratively a big pain! And as for twin motherhood; it’s been very nice from about age 4 on. I wouldn’t wish twin infant-hood on anybody, unless that body comes with a nanny or two. Always enjoy your posts and all the stories and photos. But your daughter’s abs–I have to admit I’m so jealous! That’s one area that doesn’t bounce back after twins!

  2. Why did the song “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton-John come into my head when I saw that pic of you after running the New York marathon?! Ha ha! Good luck with that shot next week 🙂

  3. I must confess I am happy I never caught the running bug. Everyone of my running friends has developed a close and expensive relation over the years with a series of orthopedic surgeons, acupuncturists, physical therapists, etc. I hope things work out for you with the shot. You should ask them to be sure to include some Jim Beam in it. Meanwhile, that photo of you in your NYC Marathon outfit should have been proceeded by some sort of trigger warning. Hubba Hubba! 🙂

    Harold Sogard

    • Aw, so nice of you to “hubba hubba” at my Marathon portrait (!) Those were the days! And — you are absolutely right about the Running Thing. I guess I thought I was immortal, like all Young People do. Well, except the Young People of today — who all stretch and cross-train and nurture their cores

  4. Ruth Meisenheimer

    If you lived in retirement residence like I do, you would have plenty of people to compare notes with. Hope all goes well and you’re as good as new very soon.

    • Hahahaha!!!!!!! I’d love to come up there and do a little note comparing. Miss you SO much, dear Ruth. I was just thinking that we got to see each other just about a year ago xoxo

  5. Anne Smith

    You should brag! That’s a fantastic marathon time and way faster than my husband who ran it twice a few decades ago. I hustled around the city trying to see him. I was pushing my baby in the very cheap and flimsy strollers we had in those days. That baby girl grew up to love (?) and do mighty well at triathlons. Hope you are soon pain free!

    • Hey thanks, Anne — I once promised (in a post, natch) not to ever brag about my marathon time. But that was before I got this Disc Thing. Now the constant pain has loosened my inhibitions (!) Love it that your daughter grew up to be a tri-athlete. I could never do that because I am such a lousy swimmer. Kind of a slow biker, too, come to think of it.

    • I want to crawl into that bear den with Chunk (great piece, Jim!) But if I don’t get the shot, it would hurt too much to crawl. Thanks about my marathon time. Those were the days!

  6. Best of luck to you, Alice, for your upcoming shot! I hope it is (somewhat) painless, and entirely helpful. How soon after said injection should you begin to feel pain free? I’ll be counting the hours for you…

    • Thank you! I am soooo nervous. But I’m always nervous around doctors — and I’m married to one. Hmmm. As for the prognosis, they were a tad cagey, as is their wont. A week or so?

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