Yesterday’s physical therapy session was productive, once I got past the annoyances of “no, really, I know what I’m doing with my existing balance exercises, stop trying to argue me out of them,” which came up because I mentioned that trying to get onto a foam roller barefoot was painful for my ankle. I think she doesn't think anyone should stand on one of those, ever, because they might fall off, rather than specifically that I shouldn't.

After that conversation, I did warmup, a bit of stretching, and some of the shoulder strengthening exercises that I've been doing as part of PT for a while, and then the therapist showed me some new balance things, some of which were easier for me than she’d expected. As [personal profile] adrian_turtle said, most of the therapist's patients don’t have the background of balance work (with Emilie) that I do, and for example haven’t been standing on one foot while waiting for the bus for years*. (The therapist wants me to do balance stuff because it will help my left ankle heal; I feel as though I can use more balance exercises, especially since I'm no longer doing large amounts of my regular exercise while standing on a balance board, as I did when I had a gym membership, back in New York.) The one exercise that felt weird was walking heel-and-toe with low hurdles to step over. Doing that without the hurdles didn't seem weird, although I had to argue with her to do it without a belt she could hold to support me in case I fell. (We compromised on me holding walking poles, which I did use to catch myself a few times.)

The PT session was draining enough that I decided to stop for hot chocolate on the way home; Starbucks makes a better hot chocolate than I do, and they have whipped cream available. Making it in the microwave works, but this was easier, and it turned out, as I had thought, that I had a free drink credit, so it wasn’t even “do I want to spend the $3 to have better hot chocolate, with less work, than I could manage for maybe 75 cents worth of ingredients at home?"

[The gym icon I'm using for this post was taken with me standing on the foam roller.)

*I do that less here than in New York or Boston; too many of the sidewalks in the Seattle area are steep and/or tilted in weird ways.
I called our old favorite chocolate shop in New York today, to order chocolates for us and for [personal profile] roadnotes. Mark Varsano, the chocolatier, started by taking my name and address, but it wasn't until I gave him Roadnotes's name that he recognized me. Probably some combination of there being more Vickis than Velmas, her distinctive looks, and maybe that she'd been shopping there longer.

It was interesting selecting chocolate over the phone, since I couldn't see what was in the display case today (the website gives some examples of what he carries, and then adds "and much more")—and I just remembered that I'd meant to ask for a cashew or pecan turtle. But once he had Roadnotes for context, along with my name, Mark said "you want orange peel and ginger, right?" and we went from there. Is that kind of memory normal for people who work in retail, or is Mark Varsano's unusually good?

On the other hand, Varsano's is the shop that made me think "I live in a small town, population eight million," because Mark didn't just remember that I prefer dark chocolate, he would ask after [livejournal.com profile] baldanders's health. And today, along with whether I miss New York, he asked whether I had a job. That wasn't random; I'd mentioned being laid off, and job-hunting, to him back in 2012. However, rather than trusting his memory, Mark is going to look at his notes to put together a box for Roadnotes, since that's a better/more detailed description of what she's likely to want than I could come up with. (I talked to [livejournal.com profile] cattitude in the middle of writing this post, and he says those notes were pretty sparse last winter; I wonder if I will be getting a call back.)

We chose to be optimistic about the weather and the chocolate not melting in transit, rather than spending lots of money on FedEx overnight (Mark mentioned the FedEx pp, but in tones of "I wouldn't recommend this").


I got out the trash-picked bosu (balance device) this morning, and tried standing on it and exercising a little. It was too easy, especially given that it's been over a year since I used one; when I was putting the bosu away I saw that, having been stood upon, it was visibly deflated. So, not worth keeping, but I am thinking of buying one.

Also in the self-care/maintenance department, I stopped at the supermarket pharmacy a couple of hours ago for a flu shot. I had a few minutes' wait after I asked for the vaccine, read and filled out the form, and gave the clerk my insurance card. The injection itself went smoothly. Like last year, it's costing me nothing (the insurer is paying $30), and they gave me a coupon for a discount on groceries. [ETA, for reference: I was given Fluvirin. Trivalent, which this season is A/H3N2, A/H1N1, and B.]
On my way to the subway this afternoon, I realized that I didn't want to go to the gym. Not that I wanted to do something else, or that I disliked the idea of exercise: it was a general "don't want to" reaction to doing anything. So I went anyway: it's not as though I especially wanted to turn around and sit on the couch with a book, either. Just general stress.

The workout itself went pretty well, though I think it would have been smoother if I'd been calmer. But that'll take time, and more information.

details, as long as I'm posting )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Oct. 4th, 2012 09:10 pm)
I saw Emilie again tonight, for the first time in a couple of weeks; she didn't have a class to teach afterwards, so was able to make up the time she'd missed in two previous sessions because she was running late and couldn't push that back. I got her to take a photo of me doing one of my balance things; this may become a new gym/exercise icon (the purple hair one is at least eight years old).

in the meantime, numbers )
I sort of expected Emilie to be running a little late, so I took my time with cardio and stuff. And then we had a good session, and I impressed her a little. With exercise/balance stuff, I mean, though she was also delighted by my offhand use of the word "fortnight" to refer to how long she'd been gone. [She was out of town for less than that, but I only see her once a week, so missing one appointment means a fortnight's gap.]

details, all from memory )
redbird: Photo of the spiral galaxy Arp 32 (arp 32)
( Jun. 14th, 2012 09:27 pm)
Yesterday morning, I was gathering mulberries in the local park, near a sidewalk. Someone saw me and asked whether they were sweet. I said yes and explained that she should look for the black or very dark purple ones, because those are ripe. She thanked me and headed toward the subway; I picked and ate a few more berries and then went home.

And for dinner last night, we had raisin French toast with fresh local strawberries. Raisin French toast because I stopped at a bakery on my way home Tuesday evening, and they were out of plain challah, but had a raisin challah left. I got home and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude said that it would make good French toast. He was right. (It would have made good French toast with maple syrup, too, but while I brought the syrup to the table, neither of us used it.)

This morning in the park, we saw a turtle on the lawn, with her head up, looking around or maybe sniffing the air. She was holding still when we first saw her, then started moving, slightly away from the water, and then away from us and parallel to the bank (we may have startled her). She then walked back to the edge of the salt marsh, started to walk down the concrete slope, and then slid the rest of the way to the water. I'm guessing that she had finished laying eggs before we got there; if she was looking for a good place she will probably try again tonight. I'm not expecting baby turtles: even if she found a male to mate with, the buried eggs are likely to be dug up by dogs, raccoons, or skunks. (These turtles, while I'm happy to see them, are neither native to the area nor threatened, so I'm not going to find a park ranger and see if they can do anything to protect the nest.)

And this afternoon I met [livejournal.com profile] drcpunk and our friend L. at the Grand Central Oyster Bar for a late lunch of matjes herring filets. (I had one piece of herring and some crab soup; drcpunk had two pieces of herring; and L had one piece of herring and some herring salad. Then drcpunk and I had ridiculously rich desserts, a chocolate cake with golden raspberries, served with curry creme anglaise [sic, a very mild curry, and it actually does work] and whipped cream alongside. Then I bought a cup of tea (must maintain caffeine levels), and we walked over to Bryant Park and talked until it was time for me to go to the gym.

I had a pretty good workout with Emilie (though she showed up significantly late, because of baby stuff, and since she had to teach a class after our session she owes me ten minutes which I hope I will get next week, assuming the baby doesn't insist on being fed at exactly the wrong time again). numbers, as usual, mostly from memory )
redbird: Photo of the spiral galaxy Arp 32 (arp 32)
( May. 31st, 2012 10:19 pm)
I was walking home from the subway this evening at twilight, and saw a firefly. I was startled and thought it might be a random reflection from the stone wall (which contains mica), so I watched until it blinked again. Then I called [livejournal.com profile] cattitude, who was walking through the park to meet me, and told him to keep an eye out. I saw another firefly on the other side of the wall, half a block north (less surprising, since there's grass on that side), and then nothing until we rendezvous'd. Cattitude said he had seen a firefly, after getting my call and crossing the street; we saw another, or the same one again, when we got back to that bit of the park.

It's May. The very end of May, but still May. I've gotten almost used to how many things are flowering early, but the fireflies are still a surprise. (I suspect that, as with most of the flowers that bloomed early, the firefly season will end earlier than usual this year.)

I was on my way home from the gym, so here's the usual gym stuff )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( May. 17th, 2012 09:31 pm)
I dithered about staying home (remnants of a cold, and a bit of tenderness in my hip), but hadn't seen Emilie in a couple of weeks, so went to the gym this evening. It went pretty well, and I didn't strain anything.

Read more... )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Apr. 27th, 2012 09:18 am)
Emilie is slowly returning from maternity leave. I got in touch with her Tuesday, and made an appointment for last night, slightly later than my previous usual (because she has to wait for her husband to get home from work and take the baby), which turned out to be her first session with a client since before she had the baby. It was a good session, though with several brief interruptions for people, mostly her coworkers, to say hi and ask how she and the baby were doing.

It was nice having someone to check on my positioning and such. I'd been getting off-center when doing my hamstring bridge thing, in that I'd start with the roller straight across and my feet equally far from my torso, and it would gradually slide sideways. Emilie told me a way to avoid that (focus on bringing my legs toward me at the same rate, rather than think in terms of not slanting things). She also got me paying attention again to things like the position of my shoulders while doing lat pulldowns.

cut for length, mostly numbers )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Apr. 4th, 2012 05:52 pm)
What it says on the tin: I went to the gym this morning (details below), ran some errands in midtown (mostly picking up books from two different library branches), then went uptown for PT. I somehow misremembered my appointment time, so killed a bunch of time after getting some tea, then walked into the PT office, started to say "I know I'm early" and then had to apologize for being late.

Fortunately, they were able and willing to see me anyway (20 minutes late isn't horrendous, but they seem to keep to schedule pretty closely). We did the same things as last Friday, but this time I asked about using a water bottle as a one-pound weight. She thought this was a fine idea. I should do my exercises ideally twice a day, and at least once. The therapist also seemed a little surprised that I had avoided all upper body stuff at the gym this morning, but that's what she told me to do if I did gym before PT, to avoid tiring myself.

Then, home via the supermarket, and in putting stuff away I realized I had tired myself out, somewhere in the exercise, walking around, PT (which included exercise), and more walking to and from the subway home. I'm supposed to have PT again Friday morning, and then may wind up waiting two weeks (a combination of their schedule and mine). I may not bother posting about the PT again unless something more interesting happens.

gym numbers, cut as usual )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Mar. 13th, 2012 05:47 pm)
I got home this afternoon (after a workout and some unsuccessful clothing shopping) to find a message from my doctor's office. The results of my bloodwork are back, and all is well. Specifically, I don't have rheumatoid arthritis. (I do have some osteoarthritis, which she diagnosed a couple of years ago, along with stuff like residual damage from going over a stile wrong coming down a mountain in 1995.)

I had a good workout this morning, though by the time I got back to the subway (after some unsuccessful clothing shopping) my legs were telling me that adding three lower-body machines I almost never use might have been too much. But it was muscles aching, not joints, and felt better after a couple of hours of mostly sitting, on the subway and then at home.

details )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Mar. 9th, 2012 06:52 pm)
So, I did a no-upper-body-stuff workout this morning: details )

After exercising, I met [livejournal.com profile] cattitude for a quick lunch in Chinatown. (I may have overdone the stairs walking down into the 6 train station: 51st Street is deeper than 33rd.)

Eating at Excellent Dumpling was quick enough that Cattitude had time to walk around with me a bit before going back to work. We went up Lafayette Street and wound up wandering into the REI store. I am now a member of REI: I am generally in favor of co-ops, and we were getting enough stuff that it seemed plausible financially. In some weird way, this balances having found and thrown away my long-useless Yale Co-op membership card (it's not so much that the card expired, though it may have, but that the organization no longer exists, there's a chain bookstore in that space on the campus instead).

From there, traveled home, looking at some flowers (more crocuses and daffodils, a few early forsythia and late snowdrops on LaGuardia Place, and more fritillaries) on the way and stopping at Grom for gelato. The flavor of the month is a serious dark chocolate with candied orange; it goes well the pink grapefruit sorbet.
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
»

gym

( Mar. 5th, 2012 03:39 pm)
This morning I had a good workout, got a latish cup of tea and then lunch, and renewed my library card before coming home. The disadvantage of leaving the house when [livejournal.com profile] cattitude does is that it leaves me out of sync with my usual pattern of caffeine and second breakfast; the advantage is that it gets me to the gym while I have plenty of energy and few other people are working out, and that Cattitude and I get to travel together.

NY Public Library cards now expire after three years, but renewal is easy if you have any of the ID they consider appropriate. Also, it turns out the Nick's mini-chain of restaurants, mostly Greek, includes one on Ninth Avenue around 51st Street, so I had roast lamb and rice for lunch, and they were willing to give me skordalia instead of tzatziki. (I love tzatziki, but it doesn't always agree with me, and I got the cucumber in my salad, and the garlic from the skordalia.) I had been heading for a Chinese restaurant a couple of blocks further north, but prepared to stop anywhere sooner that looked good: I was hungry enough that I felt I needed a plan, not just "wander till I find something," and one without a subway trip involved.

gym numbers )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Feb. 27th, 2012 04:59 pm)
This may have been my last session with Emilie for several weeks, since she is now 39+ weeks pregnant; I have tentative arrangements for Thursday afternoon, but shall check first. (For this, I'll look on Facebook: "I am in labor" is exactly the sort of thing for which one Facebook post instead of dozens of calls or emails makes sense, and one that's important enough I'll go look for it.) Yes, next Monday or Tuesday might have been better for me, but she sensibly pointed out that late this week was more likely to work.

I decided to see if I could do more lunges this time: yes. Also, my left elbow had been bothering me all day, but we didn't have to do as much workaround as I'd feared.

gym details )
I left the house when [livejournal.com profile] cattitude did, so I could go to the gym in the morning, which generally has worked well for me. Arriving after 9 means it's not crowded: it was nice to be able to just walk over and use whatever equipment I wanted.

After my workout, I ran enough errands that I think I covered about 3.5 miles on foot today, on top of a good chunk of cardio at the gym. I am not especially tired, though I may be in another hour or two. My quadriceps are a bit sore, but I pushed those at the gym, precisely because they were having some trouble with stairs at a party this weekend.

gym numbers )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Feb. 2nd, 2012 06:51 pm)
We rescheduled this from 3:00 to 4:00 at her request; I may get 4:00 again next week (depending on someone else's schedule). Her call caught me standing in front of the snowdrops (see previous post), and thus in quite a good mood.

I told her that since we'd made a lot of progress on the balance stuff, I wanted to work on my knees more, since this had initially been a knee rehab program. So, she had me do a few lunges. If nothing weird happens in the next few days, we'll repeat that next week and increase them over time.

Read more... )
Another mid-afternoon session with Emilie (I will have to return to my 6:15 timing when I find a new job, or after she has the baby and returns from maternity leave, whichever comes first, and I may do so sooner than that). Having not had much appetite for my lunch before heading downtown, I stopped off for some soup on the way to the gym, and tipped over my chair while I was in it. No harm, except to the tidiness of my pants, but it left me feeling less than confident, so it was good both to get things to work smoothly and to have Emilie telling me I was doing well.

Read more... )
I have ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses. I walked into the place where I got my current pair of regular glasses, and showed the saleswoman my non-prescription sunglasses, which don't fit over the snazzy regular bifocals. She pulled out several frames that she thought might fit under them, and two pairs of sunglasses in that general style—blocking light from the side. One of those fit pretty well, and I decided that actual sunglasses without the need to nest were a higher priority than a spare pair of glasses, which would have been a side effect of doing it the other way. (My prescription being what it is, getting both would have been an unreasonable expense.) I should have the new glasses in 7-10 business days, which will be nice. (Either way would have meant carrying sunglasses around with me at least some of the time; this way I don't also have to decide in the morning which pair of glasses to wear indoors.)

Then I went to the gym. )
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