Fun Exercise

Walk down to the watermelon patch – one quarter mile.  Done at a brisk pace, this counts as aerobic exercise.

Select two watermelons, approximately twenty pounds each.  Picking them up counts as weight-lifting.

Tuck one watermelon under each arm and carry them back up the hill toward the house.  Occasional rests may be necessary.  This counts as squats:  bending knees and slowly lowering self and watermelons to the ground, then reversing the process to resume the trek homeward.

Exercise, Part 2

Last spring I wrote about how difficult it is to make time to exercise.

Is there anyone who hasn’t heard that exercise is important?  Who hasn’t heard that people who exercise are healthier than couch potatoes?  It just isn’t that easy.  When you make a list of everything that you need to do in a day, estimate the time required to do those things, and discover that the reason you never seem to get everything done is that you’re trying to cram 33 hours worth of activities into 24 hours, something has to give.

We set priorities.   The most important things happen, the less important things fall by the wayside.

The year before my RA diagnosis, I had finally figured out how to make time to exercise.  I signed all my kids up for swimming lessons, planning that I could spend time in the gym while my kids were in the pool.  Truth be told, it wasn’t that my exercise was a high priority.  The priority was for my kids to learn to swim.

Then we discovered that in this particular facility there are over one hundred kids wait-listed every session because there aren’t enough classes (and you have to pay to sit on the waiting list).  The only way to guarantee your child a spot in a class is to volunteer.  Interesting definition of volunteer.

I volunteered to teach swimming lessons.  Ignoring the obvious (if I knew how to teach swimming, my kids wouldn’t need to take lessons), I attended orientation.  Type-A that I am, I then purchased a book on how to teach swimming.  I talked to everyone I knew who had ever taught swimming lessons.  I wrote lesson plans.  And I spent nine months teaching swimming lessons.

Instead of spending time in the gym, I spent time in the pool.  I would tread water for 45 minutes as I held little-tykes heads above water, swim laps for 15 minutes, then repeat.  I didn’t mind not being in the gym, pumping weights.  I love swimming.

Two keys that I learned from this experience:

  • exercise must be a priority or it won’t happen
  • find something that you enjoy doing




Hopefully it won’t take me another six months to write part 3

The Foot


“Are you bringing replacement parts?” my doctor laughed.  When my shoulder was at its worst, I’d purchased an anatomical model of the rotator cuff and took it along to one of my appointments in hopes that the doctor would explain exactly what was wrong.

Apparently that’s not something people usually do.

So now, do I also purchase a foot?  I’d love to know what’s going on with my feet.  It would be awesome if this new doctor has ideas on making my feet feel better.  I had some stretches and exercises that helped for a while, but things have gotten worse again.

It’s pretty frustrating.  To someone who believes in cause and effect, haphazard occurances… argh!  This is driving me crazy!

  • The spread of germs, and subsequent illness are understandable.
  • Sprains, broken bones, and pulled muscles all have specific causes.  While not pleasant, they are understandable.

The body just arbitrarily experiencing pain when there was no injury is NOT understandable.  I want a reason for all these things.  I want to know why this happened, and what I can do to prevent recurrance.  “Nobody knows” is a highly unsatisfactory answer.

Diagnosis and treatment aside, though, I’ve gotten pretty fascinated with anatomy.  The way the body works (or is supposed to work) is amazing.  I’d be quite happy to learn about various aspects of the human body without having to experience malfunctions with each and every system!

Yesterday I phoned my rheumy’s office (apologized for bothering them – I know how busy they get) and asked if the doctor has a strong preference for the specific podiatrist to whom I’ve been referred.  We like my son’s podiatrist, and I would like to see him instead of going to someone new — unless there’s a particular reason to see this other guy.  Not a problem!   What a relief to not have all that paperwork.  This podiatrist is great.  How can you not like someone who brings his dog to the office?!