Even starting a new year means that I’ll do something atypical. Thus far in 2017, I’ve been on two continents and have managed to suffer a set back that threatened the progress I made in 2016.
Let me explain…
The injury that threatened to sideline my fitness
Back in the fall of 2016 I joined a local gym. I started going to the gym five days per week at 05:30 every morning and working out for 90 minutes. Because I take care of my dad who is on hospice care here in the home, I needed a workout schedule that wouldn’t take me away from the house during the hours he needs me to be here.
I was making excellent progress with both weight loss and muscle development when I suffered an injury. My chiropractor (whom I’ve come to trust more than the guy who calls himself my physician) tells me that there was no way to anticipate this type of injury; that it was the type of injury that was inevitable due to the alignment issues I deal with.
I tore my right pectoralis major muscle, dislocated three ribs from the sternum, and compressed three vertebra doing a 120-pound bench press.
If you’re scratching you head thinking that 120 pounds doesn’t sound like a big load to press, you’re right. The way Dr. Weinstein explained it, with the alignment issues I had going at the time with a shortened psoas muscle (connects the lumbar vertebrae with the pelvis), 80 pounds (plus the 40-pound bar) was just enough to create a cascade of alignment events resulting in the muscle injury and ribs displacement.
All I know was that it hurt like a mother and for weeks coughing and sneezing evoked the worst pain I’ve ever felt. There were times when I thought someone was stabbing me in the chest.
I thought some cardio at least would keep me active. However, for two weeks I was unable to get in and out of the car, roll over or get out of bed, or even wash my hair in the shower without serious pain. Even after a two-week absence from the gym my attempt at 20 minutes of fast walking on the treadmill proved too much movement due to the arm swinging.
So I decided to just give the entire gym regimen a rest untill after my planned travel. I didn’t (nor could I) do any pushups, lunges, sit ups (totally impossible), or even any mild yoga. I’d planned a trip to England and France and was hoping I could complete it without too much discomfort.
The international journey that was long overdue
On January 15 I flew to London. It was a journey long overdue and I had a wonderful time in both England and France. Except for the four nights I spent in the home of my friends Duncan and Frances in Ashbourne, my lodgings were through AirBnB.
I spent two nights in the Notting Hill neighborhood of northwest London (and even bought some goods from the Portobello Road street-shopping stalls highlighted in the film). That was followed by two nights in Oxford where I took a delightful two-hour literary walking tour of the academic city and spent some time photographing the gothic spires that are as numerous as the bicycles that convey students of Oxford University’s various colleges.
I then took a train to Derbyshire where Duncan and Frances picked me up and spent the next four days in the pastoral setting of Ashbourne complete with old brick homes, sheep in the nearby pastures, and Labradors that gave me continual affection reminding me of the one I left in the states.
That’s Duncan and Frances on the right and back side of their house, Church Farm in Ashbourne, below. Duncan is a professional photographer and online business owner and Frances is a psychotherapist. It was so relaxing to be in their home and I was sad to leave them behind.
From there I took the Eurostar train to Paris for a three-day stay. While there I sampled French cuisine, drank coffee in various cafes while journaling in my Bullet Journal about the trip, and just about became a solid mass while taking in the sights in 30-degree (-1C) weather.
Because I’m a writer and have studied the literary giants of history, I was delighted while sitting in a Paris cafe on the Avenue de Magente near my hotel, when a man interrupted my writing by saying,
“You know…siting there like that…writing in your notebook….you could be Hemingway!”
I smiled and we shook hands and talked briefly of Ernest Hemingway, the tortured yet brilliant writer of his time writing his classic ‘In Our Time’ not far from where I was sitting (having read the major biographies on Hemingway some years back it was a refreshing conversation).
Back in London again I had the pleasure of meeting a long-time blog reader and Bullet Journal Power User customer, Liam Harris.
Liam and I met at The Travel Cafe just on the southern side of Westminster and then went to a nice Italian cafe for lunch.
I really enjoyed meeting Liam and hearing about his plans for his own online business. And of course, the obligatory selfie with him was in order. 😎
Thanks for being such a loyal reader, Liam… and for making the effort to meet up!
My Plans for 2017
This year is going to be very eventful. I’m hoping your year will be, too.
On a personal note, my dad is nearing the end of his life and that of course will impact me and my family. We completed as much pre-planning for this as possible but there is simply no way to predict how or when this sill happen.
Where my unconventional business is concerned, I have a new project underway for readers of this blog that I’ll be writing about in the coming weeks. I’m planning to partner with a few other online businesses for a few joint venture projects as well.
What about you?
What are your plans for 2017? Are you planning any unconventional events or lifestyle changes that you’d like to share in a comment below?