The Physically Personal Trainers of Horn and Ivory

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: The trek to trial supremacy gained giddying velocity, and curtailed the long winds of brief and argument. Waves in the EI carpool, as one man fell from the wagon and wended his way into the wilds of focused fatherhood. Appointments were made to follow up on the heals of Adella's stymied cycles. A belated weigh-in showed satisfactory stasis, but nary a shred of progress on the long term goal to end the wearying going-on of Waiting For Aunt Flo (the musical). Time Beings dragged in disappointing dei of the machini variety. And the forces that be relented in our couple's endless pursuit of the final flu shot. 

Coming Up: The terminal trial limps and lugs itself to a close. Will judges escape their criminal bonds in time to stop the dart match and save scalps worldwide?? Looby ladiness causes a breakout of pink hearts, and our heroine contracts Gucci-purse-dog-itis. Can her slow cooker warm her into a semblance of sanity, or will the numb cheeks spread in a endless lethe? Will a physical trainer manage to break her neck for the good of her arch? Marion of the fulgent frames bends time and space with minor families. Will Andrew ever manage to grab the glowing glasses  incorporeal athletic eidoloi,

Read on if ye dare... 

Double the looby lady, double the fun! - 

As previously alluded to, I just got 100% more feminine! That's code for "I am now taking a higher dosage of lady pills; although not yet the same dosage of supplemental estrogen and progesterone as I was when I was benightedly taking pills expressly to prevent the possibility of conception in an attempt to stall my intrinsically intransigent ovulatory cycles." (say that three times fast with peanut butter crackers in your mouth!)

 During my follow up gynecology appointment, my doctor drew me several pictures and explained the differences between using identical hormones to stimulate and/or quash ovulation. What I learned from this: (1) my doctor is not a world class artist, but his self-titled Endometrium series has a certain visceral punch and ought to have a small corner at any self-respecting MoMA; (2) my doctor has nice handwriting and is not afraid to use exclamation points; (3) If at first the side effects of something don't drive you totally batty, then try try again with higher dosages!

No, honestly (I'm told that the use of "honestly" in a sentence is clutter that raises suspicions about the veracity of any asseveration, but honestly, I'm keeping it, because filler is fine by me baby), it took a few months for my body to adjust to the additional hormones. It had just adjusted to being off them when I stopped taking the pill, after all. I'm guessing if I had just started in with this doubled up dosage, I would have been wretchedly scattered, senseless, and emotional. Now, I can parcel these things out over several months.

 So far, I do feel a bit more general spaciness. Since I am a creature of delirium and midday reverie, a minor increase in discombobulation is a drop of sweat in the ocean. Some people may be "high on life," while I generally am more "tripping my balls off on life, and mellowing it out with some life lotophagia" I do think I'm slightly clumsier these last few days. And a tad more emotionally friable. Jury's out on the full moodiness quotient and other potential side effects. But, I have started sprouting little hearts all over my body. And feeling an overwhelming urge to own a tiny rat dog (or maybe a mouse lemur) that I lovingly can call Mr. Darcy and tote about in a supersized Gucci purse...

But, while I turn a softer shade of nuts in my ever-going quest to be perpetually pms-ing, I am making progress in the slog towards having a functional foot again. I have an appointment with a physical therapist on Wednesday, which is concinnous with my endeavors to introduce bite sized bits of running back into the mix. It's a bit agonizing, because I have to be so cautious. The relentlessness of the treadmill has made it a poor companion for my foot. I suspect I am modifying my pace when I run free-style, and the turnover of foot pounding combined with the pushing off are both things that put pressure on the sensitive area of my foot. So, icy toes and hands it must be!

On Sunday, Andrew and I went on our first DINK "run" since November. I told him to go off ahead of me and walked a longer warm up, before doing about 30 minutes of mild running. It wasn't without paranoia and the usual "huh, you sure about this?" warning signals from my arch. Still the way I feel today was the real test and so far so good on that account. I think seeing a PT now is the perfect time to get advice on how to strengthen and protect that area while I'm working back up to a regular load. 

And, it is Monday! Arch spluttering like a little sparkler with rose colored lady-glasses obfuscating anything approximating focus, I shall charge sloggingly toward the week ahead!

 Or final trial is finally here. It is a middling stacked calendar dealing only with the cursory matter of child support in what was once a far meatier case. Child support is, theoretically, an extraordinarily mechanical affair. By state law, you plug two incomes into a table with resulting formulae, and the table spits out an obligation. Simple. Really. Of course, since the cases that make it to trial do so because the person on the other side is unhinged (like snowflakes, no two crazy other parties are the same, but boy are they a lot more colorful than snowflakes!) As such, it has turned into a pretty nit-picky surreal experience.  I'll be helping out by going to the dentist and hiding in their bathroom. 

Finality Falters and Falls, but Finalizes in Trial Land (...sorta) 

The last trial hath been trialed. And what a trial. Or, to mince my words more finely, it was more of an ordeal than an actual legally conceived trial. We continued our tradition of strange luck straight until the end. The "stacked calendar" is a little different than other trial calendars. Instead of getting a court room and a judge reserved in advance, multiple mini-trials are assigned to a day, and you get whatever judge is assigned on that rotation. In theory, anyways. 

The vagaries of stacked-trial means some peculiarities in presentation. For one, all those pretrial preparations don't have a pretrial destination, because you don't necessarily know who will be hearing the case in the final tally. Not that we didn't try to send a missive out to the universe. I crafted a very fine trial brief ("brief" continuing to be an ironic term even in a case with no issues except those manufactured by mania at the eleventh hour). We sent it to court. By the time we sent it, we believed quite strongly that the judge assigned to "stacked calendar" was the one to whom we addressed those final documents. 

Technically we were correct. Nonetheless, he didn't get them and did not read them. He also was tied up in criminal cases - not literally so to my knowledge. And maybe just didn't feel like hearing our little child support set-to. After some vacillation, it was proclaimed that our little trial that could(ish) would be ping-ponged through the judicial chambers to another judge. She was equally qualified to handle our case, having not read any of the trial material previously either. Had she not been able to pick up the slack, I suspect that the clerks would have suggested - in the alternative - that we just put a few figures up on a wall, blindfold the advocates, hand them darts, and assign the amounts as the darts fell ("you will pay one injured scalp of judicial assistant a month!" Ok, that might not work). 

Nonetheless, our trial's judicial understudy was able to sort through the mess enough to make some kind of ruling. But it wasn't a ruling based on anything approximating a typical trial. Instead of our reviewing carefully culled exhibits and witness questions, the judge just leafed through the Brobdingnagian file (muttering, "oh I see this has been a somewhat... litigious case" in epic understatement) applying a leaf-blower to sort the wheat from the chaff, and then milling the chaff into a marketable gluten free powder for market and/or findings of fact and conclusions of law. Or something. I don't really know what happened, as I was far too busy having various numbing agents pumped into my face. But I do remember my mom returning from trial looking especially perplexed and a mite more skeptical of the space-time continuum than  usual.

At that "time", I was mostly too busy poking my deadened cheek and trying not to bite my tongue while talking. That novocaine is powerful stuff and most of my mouth and abbuting real estate was insensate for a good four hours after the brief dental interlude. I believe that most of the morning I appeared to be heavily stoned (given how decidedly I was palping my jaw and face), drunk, and suffering a minor stroke. Needless to say, no grand oratorios were performed in the afternoon. Except for an ariose symphony of vacant stares and separate screens. Percussive punctuation on the keyboard for good measure. The emails seemed to get written. The papers seemed to be drafted as expected, but I can't say I remember any volition or action to get them to that state. 

Today now feels alternatingly like Friday or Monday. It is the alpha and the omega of the workweek. Tuesday is all days and no days all at once. I am one and many with the Tuesday. Oooooommmmzzzzzzzzz wait what? 

Oh right. It's another work day that stridently feels like some other work day. But we will be picking through the rubble of our trialmageddon season and heading towards our other non-trial emergencies with noggins blazin'. And I will be eating solid food again with only the occasional lapse into cheek-groping. It's a good day to be alive and a better one to climb the walls!

Crock of Ages and the Case of the Mislaid Trainer -

Last night, was a "gym night" for Mr. +Andrew Wright.  Unlike our DINK gym day on Saturday, this is one of those events that a man must do alone... mostly because his woman is not really keen on staying out late and would much prefer to do her working out over lunch time with a friend. Or something along those lines.

This was supposed to be a bit of a special gym night for the fellow. At the turn of the year, he determined upon consulting with a personal trainer. He follows his training bible piously, of course, but as he shifted from pre-prep-base into base-lite and possibly a twist of base-ment, he thought that a hands on discussion that took full awareness of his tangible realities and available resources might be... handy (har har... hands). 

The appeal of a professional trainer's sagacious kibbitzing increased after his battle with Baker left lingering war wounds. The YMCA offers personal training. Which is convenient, as we are members there. Andrew, beading in on this convenience factor underwent the inconveniently turgid personal trainer forms and sign up process, after which he was told that - should he be deemed worthy - his chosen trainer would contact him to set up a time. This trainer was selected almost exclusively on his ability to distinguish between "biking" and "cycling" on his list of hobbies, and to express a preference for the latter. 

He sure as hell wasn't chosen for his reliability!

About three weeks ago, Andrew corresponded with Marion, the cycling-trainer. Much to the discombobulation of our routine weekend, they agreed to meet on Saturday afternoon. This threw our Saturday morning into a minor fit of anomie, of course, but we somehow survived by blowing up sugar-homes and other acts of creative destruction. At about 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Andrew got an email from M, the cycling-trainer. Apparently he had a "minor family" and hoped to reschedule.  We are assuming that the operative word "emergency" was inadvertently omitted, but then again, perhaps cycling-trainer just discovered that he has several children he'd never met and is reeling a bit. Couldn't say.

Not one to disrespect family - even if only minor family - Andrew obliged. By this time, I'd had a full opportunity to shuck all aspirations to work through the fresh pain of my massage-pinched-nerves, and Andrew uxoriously obliged my urging to go without me if he wanted to do a solo work out. Since his wrist was still raw, I believe he contorted about a bit, trying to figure out ways to drain himself without snapping anything, but he managed. 

After some email back-and-forth, the second date was selected: Sunday at noon. This threw our weekend even further into chaos, moving our Saturday gym morning off by an entire day! Determined to make it work, we "warmed up" (it was too darn cold to ever claim actual warmth) running/run-hobbling downtown, and then planned to hit the gym for Andrew's appointment.

As we endued ourselves in sporty synthetics and headed for the car, Andrew got... another email. Another missive filled with understated regret and a desire to reschedule. No minor families were harmed in the making of this last-minute cancellation to my knowledge. The message only said "I need to reschedule our training. I do apologize. This week in the evening works." 

Andrew, far more dogged than I, agreed to try meeting with this cycle-trainer (who, I am beginning to believe, is actually a zealous computer algorithm set up to force people to schedule gym time on the promise of someday meeting a non-existent trainer) .Their last email string went a little like this (palp the piano, Sam, let's get this jiving): 

Andrew: How about Tuesday at 6:30?Computer generated cycling-trainer "man": PerfectAndrew: Great. I'll see you then.

Figuring things were quite settled at that point, Andrew gave his training calendar the usual shuffle and shimmy, benightedly expecting that perhaps he might meet his athletic eidolon


You may place your bets on how that turned out while I insert a little interlude about my magical new slow cooker. Knowing that Andrew would be out until close to 8. I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to try out slow cooking. It's always a balance between my wanting to eat at a regular dinner time, my ineptitude at guessing exactly when Andrew might be home based on his arrival time at the gym (usually off), my preference for spending the latter half of the evening relaxing away from a hot stove, and my hopes for Andrew to have a tasty warm meal upon return. I've experimented with pre-making and reheating in all sorts of varieties. Our microwave is pretty awesome on the auto-reheat. The rice cooker also does a pretty nifty "keep warm" when called upon, just so long as you add a little extra water to whatever you've concocted. 

The slow cooker, though, is so up my pleasure-leisure-deferring alley. On Monday evening, I did all the prep work for some rather succulent sweet potato chili. Left the fixings in the fridge overnight and threw the crock pot on low when I left in the morning. Since the cleaners were coming that day, and they often leave things different than when they arrived, I wasn't sure that the slow cooker would remain plugged in through their entire visit, but it somehow managed and I returned to a redolent home yesterday evening. With a minimum of muss and fuss, I was able to pack up about half the recipe for freezing and future consumption, eat a little myself and save the rest for Andrew to have warm over rice on his return. Needless to say, I approve. 

Back to the YMCA (It is pure jouissance to sojourn at the YMCA, especially when you are a budding young lad)

So we left off in our little story with an email exchange on Sunday that said Tuesday good? Yes, Tuesday good. Great on Tuesday. 

Upon arriving at the gym last night, which was Tuesday, Andrew received the following follow-up email from Computer generated cycling-trainer "man":

"Tomorrow at 6_30 [sic] it is"

We checked all available calendars. Yesterday remained Tuesday. Despite my speculation that perhaps the email had been put into some netherworld-out-box yesterday and mistakenly sent today, Computer generated cycling-trainer "man" did not show up at the appointment, so we can only assume that his minor family has also managed to disturb his internal space-time diapason. 

Andrew, so dogged that he needs a tick and flea bath at this point, figures he will offer Computer generated cycling-trainer "man" one more shot at our weekend workout. If that doesn't work out, the he will go to the YMCA front desk and request an actual living being take the personal training helm.

On the bright side, his wrist has mostly healed at this point and he's nearly out of the training phase that he had originally wanted to run by the physical trainer! 

For my part, I've continued to complete my series of appointments with professionals and will be trying my luck with a different sort of trainer today. I've finally pulled the trigger on consulting with a physical trainer to address the little tweaks and twinges in my arch, and to hopefully get back into running and dancing safely. Having witnessed the sort of ass-kickings that PTs tend to hand out, I'm not entirely looking forward to it, although I'm also anxious to start working on some real healing and loping forward. 

Hopefully no minor families will intervene!

Minding the Ps and Ts: Tales of Trainers, Twinges, and Cafeteria Romance 

In our various quests for professional intervention, Andrew and I both have been seeking assistance from trainers of heterogenous ilk. Andrew's quest for a physically present personal trainer has, of course, been fraught with frolic. My initial supposition has been that cycling-training man was actually just a computer algorithm set up to send misleading emails that would inspire people to  make time for the gym. If this is the case, the Y employees are all in on it. Apparently when Andrew went to the YMCA desk on Tuesday night, he was told that Marion might be around and given the description of a large bald black man, who  wears colorful glasses frames. The glasses frames was a nice touch. 

Mr. Marion of the fulgent frames did follow up to his confusing "see you tomorrow" epistle of Tuesday evening. His response to the little snafu? Apparently he had gotten Andrew confused with another client. I'm not entirely sure if this other client is deeply religious and following a distinctly separate weekly calendar for which "Tuesday" falls roughly around our Wednesday. I'm equally not entirely sure if maybe this other client lives in some kind of perpetual time lag requiring ABA accomodations. But regardless of whomever Marion thought he was agreeing to  meet on "Tuesday," he still wasn't there on Tuesday. Marion, incidentally, would like to reschedule. Andrew gave him the option of meeting him at our regular Saturday morning work out. If that doesn't work, he'll find a new trainer with a less chromatic sartorial and temporal style. 

My physical trainer, on the other hand, had very dull glasses. That's not fair. There was a faint gleam of flaxen fulgence from her demure spectacles. And what she lacked in optometric elan, she more than made up for in her degree of tangible presence. Taking a few notes from my masseur, she pretzled and poked at me in several different fashions, made me do a variety of funny party tricks targeted at - I can only guess - making me plunge head first into the ground and requiring additional PT sessions and/or assessing whether I had come into the clinic particularly inebriated that morning. 

She then suggested a number of idiosyncrasies about my right foot and lower leg that may be straining the arch. Needless to say, several of these little oddities are easily traced to over-working dance technique. Apparently I have - like all dancers before me - failed to do proper cross training to strengthen the peculiar little muscles on the other side of things. So now I have exercises and a resistance band and two more appointments. 

It was a huge relief that none of the weird little diagnostic exercises she had me do caused any sudden arch spasms. Some of the things were specifically painful a few months ago and things I'd been avoiding. I was advised not to try increasing my running at all for the time being. A shame, but nice to remain inoperate under official aegis regardless. 

Having thoroughly P'ed to the T, I called it a successful day, hobbled through work with a touch of spry to my steps and made it home for a very classy date night. I'm not sure why, but I have a strong affinity for the Haggen's food court. Haggen's is a nearby mid-to-aspiringly-upscale grocery store in our neighborhood. With the exception of its dairy section (no idea why), Haggen's generally prices itself out of my willing consideration. When the 2-for-1 sale puts bread at the same price as the usual shopping haunts, for instance, I feel a little less enthused about my Bogo booty. 

It does, however, do a sterling spot of take-out. They have asian-not-otherwise specified (really a blend of Japanese sushi and Chinese standards), a copiously stocked deli, a salad bar, and a variety of rotisserie viands. I have an affinity for the salad bar, as it typically harbors some of their deli salads, several kinds of beans, and at least one kind of semi-seasonal fruit other than grapes and melons. 

So my boyfrianceband indulged the urge and we went to the grocery store for dinner last night! I demand only the best. When the Sommelier scuttled in our direction to give us advice on how best to air our watery lite lemonades, I sent it all back for a lower ratio of ice-to-lemonade. 

As befit our milieu and mindsets, we mostly discussed the above P and T topics. I showed Andrew my little chart of exercises and he expiated his revelations about the next stage of Base-3.0-resting-wampalomp cardio/strength scheduling. The sweet nothings we scream in a sweet sotto-vocce over the rustling of chairs on linoleum! It's enough to make a diabetic go into shock. 

Perhaps as my own base-training for the track season, I am following up my date night with a single-lady night. Andrew will be off at a UW Engineering night thing, in which he has the opportunity to corrupt young and ambitious little pre-engineering nerds with tales of EI(eiooooo) glory and madness. 

I may chop vegetables. Or watch the Daily Show. It's hard to say how mad I'll get once I get going! I might even finish my book about cussing!
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