Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Madness

How I wish I cold swim.

We had a moment of warmth here, such that I considered venturing forth to the pool again.  They actually are open all year.  I just can't handle the chill well, especially when the pool is kept in the mid 70s.  It's great for summer swimming, when you can warm up out of the water, but the joints need to be loose before even getting in the pool . . .

*     *     *     *     *

I had planned a "March Madness" entry way back on the 15th or so, given how much had already happened to me.  Much of it is a blur now, on all fronts.

It's been a very difficult month.  This was predicted, of course.  It has been my hardest month for several years in a row now, this last stretch of my Winter.

Soon, even if it does not get warm enough for swimming, it will be warm enough for some jogging.  I'll get out of this cage, er uh, house, if only for a few hours a day.

Or maybe not, if this chest cold lingers and turns into pneumonia, but I get ahead of myself.

*     *     *     *     *

The first real outing I have been on in longer than I can remember started the month.  This is honestly a bit disconcerting.  I actually can't remember the last time I left the area.  Has it been two years?  I don't think I went anywhere last summer.

Well, I went on safari.

One of my wife's birthday presents was an outing to Safari West, just outside Calistoga.  I knew going in it would be a difficult and painful outing, but I thought it would be worth it.  I'd say it was, though I was quite worried it would not be when the drive there (less than 3 hours) had me in agony the entire way.

Upon arrival, body screaming and very out of sorts, I loaded up on the pain pills and my afternoon dose of Adderall in preparation for another car ride.  I had not thought about that ahead of time.  You see, the drives are what hurts me more than anything (well, almost anything, but I'll get to that), and I had ridden in a car for near 3 hours so I could take a 3 hour safari tour?  I was worried.

*     *     *     *     *

My worries, however, were quickly put to rest.  First off, the gigantic vehicle used for the tour had seats which fit me quite well, where even the sturdy bars behind the seats were at great levels to rest my arms or stretch my back.  And I started the tour up top with the kids (mine and two friends).


And even with constant shifting and bumps, I was feeling no pain when I found myself a few feet from a gorgeous antelope or a mere 10 feet from a pair of rhinos. 

It was pretty awesome.  Up close with giraffes and zebras and the like.  We had some distance between us and the water buffaloes, which is smart given they can get testy, but it was still something to behold.

Our tour guide was smart and only missed on only a few jokes (out of probably a hundred over the three hours, which is a pretty impressive ratio).  The weather was near perfect.  What a win.

*    *     *     *     *

Then came the overnight experience.  I won't rehash it all, but I will repost a comment I sent out into the expanse of the Internet from by phone at 4:49am (which was really 3:49am given the clocks had been pushed forward for daylight savings only a few hours before):

Can't sleep and suffering. No idea when sun comes up with the time change. I have been more miserable. When this is over, I may still think it was worth it. Ten feet from two rhinos was really fucking cool.
I may have even found some sleep around one but the fucktard in the tent next to us was waxing poetic, telling someone his life story. By the time he stopped, I was wide awake and trapped in the bottom bunk.
Funny. While there are many pens and gates, most animals are roaming some decent patches of land. Yet, the cow finds himself caged.
Flamingos are noisy. All night.
I had to get out of the tent. It's pretty cold out. Very dark. And the sounds are cool, boarding on spooky sometimes when the big animals make low rumbles.
Going to try to pace out here a bit and stretch some and maybe become able to try sleeping again but I think I am going to wait for sunrise and see what the animals are like during it. You know, may as well try to experience something worthwhile, right?
It was certainly an experience.

*     *     *     *     *

I was pretty much shot for a week after that outing.  Then, the chest cold hit, and I've been coughing ever since, unable to breath well when lying down. 

Odds are I caught something when sitting outside that tent listening to the flamingos and other animals.  So, while I had determined (and still so believe) that the adventure was well worth it, I guess the possible lingering cost may still be able to work it's way into the equation.

*     *     *     *     *

I could write much more about the changes I have gone through this month as well.  I do seem to be able to make the most progress when subjected to stresses like that trip.

They are too tricky to explain well.  Major shifts.  Major changes.  Progress and pain.

One major change is happening around my chest, and I do think it related to my cold, though as a cause, effect, or both, remains a mystery.  the resting state is again changing, and I am getting muscle and flesh to creep up my chest, around the lungs.

This results in mys instability and changes to both shoulders, and then the neck and head.  A similar change then happens in my hips and with my legs.

Basically, I am spent, completely spent.

*     *     *     *     *

I have written about enduring, about just getting through rough times.

I may need to revisit my definitions.  What I called "enduring" took some effort.  I had to act.

It was never easy and I'd often want to give up, but I endured.

The past week, especially with my breathing difficulties, I have not had much to give in terms of effort.  It's mostly reactionary.

Yet, I am still here.  So, I am enduring.

*     *     *     *     *

This is easily the worst entry I have ever written.  If you actually read this far, I apologize.  I just felt I had to write something about the trip and my struggles of late.

Again, I had wanted to write it weeks ago, but while I could then map out some of what to write in my head, I lacked the energy to write it.  Now, the brain is shot, and the ideas and concepts I wanted to put down are lost, but the fingers work.

*     *     *     *     *

I'll throw out a thought I had recently, however, which could end up something I need to investigate.

A study I heard about recently suggested meditation helps increase one's life span, and they had data suggesting it may even increase the length of some DNA or RNA strand, not sure which.

This set off bells.

I suspect the body, in a more proper postural position, while practicing a form of meditation, may allow the body to resonate with "biowaves" (an inclusive term I may have touched upon earlier and likely will return to again), which may, in turn, allow those strands to lengthen.

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