Sunday, August 21, 2016

Peter Pan, Pink Flamingos, and Applesauce

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
I am in battle with my body these days. Each muscle has been taking turns in protest. It means I end each day feeling tired and sore. It has been a very tiring time.

When I broke my foot last May, I had no idea that it would be this difficult to get back to my normal self. It's not that the bone is bothering me: it's the effect of wearing the air cast for three weeks. The muscles in my right leg are taking a long time to regenerate, and the rest of my muscles are taking a long time to re-adapt to moving normally.

I've been able to walk and swim and do a bit on the elliptical and row machine since about mid-June. I've been seeing a physiotherapist since the middle of July. Last week, I started training myself to learn to run again using this program given to me by my physiotherapist. I've been alternating each day with other activities: swimming, walking, rowing, cycling... whatever I can think of. When I wake up in the morning, my right hip and glute are so tight that I have to spend half an hour warming up and stretching so I can at least walk without a limp. This morning, I ran the fourth program (6 minutes of running in total). By the end of each program, I can feel my foot tightening up, which means that's a good time to stop. It loosens up as I walk for the 5 minute cool down.

The rest of the day, hips tighten up, then my IT band, then my psoas, then my glutes, then my hamstrings. At least they're considerate enough to take turns trying to cripple me. It's quite civilized of them to give each other a chance to express their opinion on the matter.

I've set a reminder to get up and stretch every hour. I spend at least 30 minutes each evening rolling, stretching, and massaging each part so I can go to sleep without any discomfort. I also have been doing lots of balancing and conditioning exercises to encourage the muscles to re-learn some muscle memory so they won't freak out so much every time I try to move. I spend so much time balancing on one leg that I'm considering getting a part-time job as a flamingo... as long as I don't have to wear pink.

It has been a lot of work, but I'm trying to keep my mind open to notice the good stuff through it all. I was entranced by the sun coming through the window before I left this morning. The cut glass made this pretty pattern on the curtain, which I think I might try to knit into some lace sometime:


And I met this deer on the trail early on Friday morning at the start of my run. I gave her lots of room, the sweet little thing... not that she would have had any trouble getting away from limpy ol' me:


I have been further distracted by the bounty that the summer season brings. I got a bit excited last week when one of the local farms offered a "Pop Up Produce" box. I could not resist the opportunity to bring local organic produce home.  That rhubarb is just ridiculous, isn't it?


I've been slow-roasting the tomatoes on the barbecue with each meal this week. It goes great with the basil from a plant that came in my veggie box earlier in the season:


And the apples have been put to good use. I took advantage of a cool day today to try making some apple turnovers with some puff pastry I had in the freezer:


I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a pretty good result. They tasted the part, even if I did burn my mouth during the taste test:


I decided to make some applesauce with most of the other apples. I found some tips on making it with my slowcooker, which meant that I wouldn't have to stand by the stove and fret about burning it t. I decided to leave the skins on because 1) I am too lazy to peel all those apples and 2) the pectin in the skins allow it to congeal just right. Thus, a crowd of apples started out like this:


And then they puffed up into this after two hours on high with 3/4 cups of water and a sprinkle of cinnamon:


And then, it turned into this lovely caramel-like stuff after I blitzed it with a hand-blender. 
How do ya like dem apples, hey?

I was sitting on the floor the other day after yet another stretch session, feeling tired and defeated, but I know that there are people out there dealing with a lot worse. Right now, it seems impossible that I could ever, ever run for 10 minutes, much less do anything like a 10k again. But, as Peter Pan said, the moment I believe I can't do it anymore will be the moment I WON'T be able to do it anymore. I guess I just have to go and have my good cry each day, and then get up and try again.

But first, I think I'll have an apple turnover and go find my knitting. I don't want my knitting muscles to wither away next. THAT would be a disaster.

Have a good week!

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