Sunday, February 13, 2011

Exercise, discipline and affection

This is the first photo after taking my brace off
I borrowed the title to today's blog from Cesar Milan (the infamous "Dog Whisperer") as I found it appropriate.
This week started my physical therapy, which was great, since it also meant I no longer needed that Robo-brace. I am now not only free, but encouraged by Dr. Altchek, to move it up and down, side to side, and twist the wrist in and out.  What I wasn't prepared for was the new "pain" I started to feel.  While I marvel at the great artistry of the Dr.'s handy work (I wonder how much of the scar will be noticeable in a year's time), I guess I'm just surprised at the level of discomfort I'm feeling internally.   For this week and next, physical therapy ("PT") has been quite boring. Here's what goes on during the whole hour: heating pad, ultrasound, unweighted exercises lifting and twisting my arm and wrist, massage, ice.  I'm not complaining at all, it's just when I was told we were going to start slow, didn't realize this slow!  Given the pain I'm now feeling, I guess it's a good thing we start slow. (I'm quickly reminded at how weak I am when I attempt to open the door or pull on something with my right hand.)

My riding regimen has been getting better now that I've been given the OK to hold on to the handle bar with my right hand (although I can't weight that arm just yet but it sure makes it easier to balance).  Recently I downloaded another great video that's hosted by Robbie Ventura. It's the "Climb" video of the indoor training DVD/download series.  (Robbie Ventura is a former pro cyclist who was on the Lance Armstrong's U.S. Postal Team some years back.  Robbie is also the founder of Vision Quest Coaching, a training and coaching facility in Highland Park, IL.) This video rocks! It's shot with Robbie out on a ride, from many camera angles, with Robbie himself leading the instruction.  It seems like the best series of videos I've yet to discover.  I hope to get a few more in the series (although I've got a 1/2 dozen videos right now, so maybe sometime down the line).

I'm trying to become more disciplined in my life. Part of that is understanding what true discipline is. I mean, take this weekend for instance.  Weather in the 40's, sun is out.  What am I doing indoors? There's got to be something I could do outdoors that wouldn't have the potential of re-injuring myself, right? (You don't know how much mind time I can spend thinking about this.) But, like other things in life, I'm learning that when you buy into a "good" plan, you need to be disciplined to keep to that plan in order to get the benefits from it.  Now, the schedule of that plan may not be what I want, but it's what I need. (Reminds me of a famous Rolling Stone song...) I'm simply referring to the decision I made to get surgery, but we could be talking about life, religion, etc., it's all the same. Having discipline, I presume, is to have faith that I'll get exactly what I need and will be blessed with the benefits of having the patience to know that all things come in time. (Not my time but some "larger" time.  Yes, I actually believe that.)  So, for now, I will keep to the Dr.'s plan (i.e., take it slow) and feel grateful for the health I have and the healing and benefits to follow.

This is, after all, Valentine's Day weekend (even though it's technically tomorrow). I attempted to show a bit of my affection to Melisa, by taking her to Xavier's H20 ON The Hudson, in Yonkers, NY.  I first saw this restaurant on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" TV show. (Truth be told, part of me going to a good restaurant is for selfish reasons; I mean, I going to be there too, no?)  Well, I can happily report back that Xavier's didn't disappoint.  Definitely would give it a thumbs up. The best part of the night was that I actually surprised Melisa on the choice of restaurant. Usually, I can't keep the secret from her. (You would think with 1000's of restaurants in NYC, it would be easy to keep a restaurant selection mum.  But then, I've got lose lips when it comes to keeping things from my wife. It's just the way it is with me.)  Despite this, I was hoping to keep this one to myself.  The tricky part was that if she saw that I was driving, not to the city, but to "Yonkers", she could easily guess where we were going. (I got no beef with Yonkers or the Bronx, it's just that we don't really ever travel there for food.) Luckily for me, I've been telling her for weeks about this review I read that ranked the top pizza places in the U.S., and ranked Zaza Restaurant in Scarsdale, NY, as the highest rated pizza place in all of New York State. (A little geography for you- the southern part of Scarsdale borders the northern part of Yonkers.) As we've never been there, I thought she just might guess we were going to Zaza. (But then I thought, if she guessed we were going to Zaza, what does that say about me, when my wife thinks I'll take her to a pizza place for our Valentine's dinner?)  Anyway, as we were clearly driving towards Yonkers, she said "I think I know where we're going but don't want to ruin it for you". (It was clear she felt bad that she might reveal the place I had tried so hard to keep secret.)  Feeling defeated, I let her know that it was OK for her to confirm where we were going.  She said: pizza?
Happy Valentine's Day....

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