Monday, September 24, 2012

Hitting The Spot!

[It's been a month, a long month.  The last post I was able to publish was back when I was swimming like mad and making great progress.  Then, we went to Tahoe, the drives and a river ride (with the dog) worked me over something fierce.  Then, the wife goes to Vegas (for work - yeah, right!), leaving me with the kid, which meant no swimming, early and late drives, and little rest.  Then, I got sick, an serious ear infection, possibly from the swelling in my neck and head from West Nile (though unconfirmed), which included confusion, chills, sweats, and dizziness.  Then, the lap swim time I had hoped to return to got infested with high school classes, limiting lanes (I had managed only 3 swims since going on vacation, but have hopefully started up regular swims again today).  Last, I got a Tetanus shot last Thursday.  It's safe to say I am in the small percentage of individuals with reasonably serious reactions.  I became extremely sore and achy for three days, only this morning did the bruise from the shot finally surface, about the size of a quarter this morning, near half dollar size now.  Yet, I swam through the pain today.  There was much, and I'm on Vicodin #2 of the evening as I try to type, but I want a record of what I just felt.]

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I've written many, many times of what an "adjustment" feels like.  There are different sorts, different specific feelings and sensations that go with different locations, but some constants are with each, whether it occur in the shoulders, hips, neck, jaw, wrist, whatever.

It's that slip knot feeling, that point where a tension or pressure reaches an apex and then releases.

It's almost orgasmic.  Well, if you substitute pleasure with pain or strain.

It's similar to the last stretch of a hike, or bike ride, or run, just before you reach the top of a hill.  You are straining and focused, pushing it harder than you thought you could.  You know the summit is near, and you suddenly relax once there, a release.

Now, that end moment is the constant, the release, the freedom.

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Early on, this was the metaphor I used to explain how an "adjustment" felt (see picture below).  Ever play it.  My uncle had one.  He lived in the most awesome home I've ever known well, on a cliff in Capitola.  I'd get there and play that game for hours.  I'd have to be pried away from it to go to the beach or play with my cousins.

Anyways, when the "adjustments" first started, the non-agonizing ones, this game is what I remembered during them.  The sensation of riding a muscle up my arm until it reached an apex point in my shoulder felt so similar to that metal ball rolling up the rods.

If you have played it, you may know what I mean. 

As the ball rolls upward, the friction between the ball and rods causes a higher pitch, a heightened frequency, as the amount of rod between the ball and your fingertips gets smaller and smaller, much like a whistle sliding up an octave.  You feel the frequency change.  You feel sound.

To me, the similarity was twofold.  First, as just described, the crescendo matched a heightening of concentration.  It matched the strain, the focus, and the drive to reach that apex, to achieve a release, much like that last stretch as one runs up a hill.

The second, however, was the physical sensation of being both the ball and the rods. 

I could feel part of me actually moving against the grain, just as that ball goes upward. 

More important is where my focus lied.  Though I could feel the "ball" move, it moved only as a result of a wave caused by other muscles.  Almost like a surfboard, I made waves that pushed the ball along.  It usually took two points of focus to create the wave, and like the two rods are what you actually move to raise that ball, I would focus on those two separate points.

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There is no great twist to this entry, however . . .

I've been working lately on the muscles in my back.  All the core work has lead me to them, these unused or severely underdeveloped muscles.

When I use the muscles in my lower back as a starting point and try to ride them upward, creating a more literal wave, I reach significant kinks once I reach my lungs and shoulder blades. 

These kinks are worthy of their own post, as the sensation is very much known to me, but very difficult to articulate (much more than what I am likely failing to describe here).  Yet, I am finding my way through, or past, these them.  A future post, as yet unwritten . . .

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About an hour, after a dip in the spa while waiting for the Vicodin to actually help, I rode the muscles up my back while drying off.  In dealing with those kinks, my arms lifted at the shoulder rotated slightly.  They became my points of focus, and both weent behind me, straight, and were able to come quite close together, as the "fold" or "twisted curtain cord" (to steal from old metaphors), or "ball" ran up my back to the apex point it seeked.

And in that moment I became Hit The Spot!

My arms straight behind me were the rods, almost literally, and I focused on them alone to run the "ball" up my back.

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The memory of the metaphor, as well as memories of those ancient trips to Santa Cruz, flooded me as I my body relaxed, some bit of muscle reaching a point in my back it had not known in decades, likely since before I ever played that game. 

I had a moment of optimism which I have lacked all this month, even amidst all the progress.

I went out to the living room and had my wife pause The Voice so I could explain what happened.  She smiled, a genuine one, not the fake one I get when she is too busy to actually pay attention (It might also have been because I probably looked 10 years younger then I did before I went out to the spa, meaning my real age, not like the old cripple I resemble far too often - just a little bit of happy can bring me back).  Then, I came to try to type this while she finished her show.

Woohoo!  I did it.  I was beginning to worry I wouldn't get another post published this year.

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