Last week, sitting down on the toilet was painful. Getting out of bed was a moral victory. Lounging–forget it. I had given up and begun throwing my body on the couch hips first without any regard for my safety–or the cat’s.
It all started two Sundays ago when I did a killer leg work-out: 10 sets of 10 dead lifts and 10 sets of 10 squats (I like to keep it simple.) with a 10-minute jog to cool down. By the time I made it to Central Cinema for “Fuck Father’s Day” (And where were you?), my legs felt like well-strung tight ropes.
It was worse Monday morning. I knew before I even made it out of bed. A forest fire raged in my quads, and my hamstrings were in a slow cooker. And then I sat down on the toilet.
I didn’t think I’d be able to get up.
Knowing I had a massage waiting for me at the end of the day became my driving force–that and the ledge of the sink, which I used to catapult my body from the toilet seat. But first–Monday, chest day. I hobbled into the gym with a limp–not a smooth pimp one, but one of those where, if I was 50 years older, you’d offer to help me with my groceries. Before I made it through my first set, I knew I wouldn’t be running after lifting. I gutted out the work-out, struggling to lift what the week before was easy. And once I made it to work, I barely left my desk except to eat lunch and drink as much water as possible.
When I made it to her office, my massage therapist Michelle (She’s the best!) asked how I had been and how everything was feeling. She always says this and sweeps an arm across the expanse of her body like a ballerina shooing a fly. Usually, I complain about my neck and left shoulder, but not today.
“The running is killing me,” I told her, rubbing my quads and wincing.
An hour later, my quads and hams were doughy. Michelle had fixed me. Or so I thought.
“I’ve told you about epsom salt, right?”
Of course, Michelle has told me about epsom salt, a magic salt, like electrolytes, that when used externally relieve aching muscles and when used internally… make you poop like crazy, or so I hear. When I first began seeing Michelle almost two years ago, my left shoulder felt like a broken wing, droopy and constantly seizing up, and at one of my first appointments, she asked, “Do you take baths?” (At first, I misheard her and thought she asked,”Do you bathe?”), a lead-in question ultimately ending in her proselytizing the gospel of epsom salt.
“Yeah, you’ve told me about them. I use them once in awhile.”
“Well, use them tonight. You’re going to be sore tomorrow.”
When I got home, I ate, drank more water, stretched, grabbed the bathtub pillow (Yes, you read that right: a pillow for the bathtub.) and got my epsom salt on (all while plotting out some events for fall and listening to the new Blue Scholars). Getting out of the tub, I knew Michelle would be right–even with the epsom salt power seeping into my achy muscles.
Then Tuesday: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. (Also, I limped 1.2 miles to work in the morning and 1.2 miles back to the bus stop home and had trouble even going near the toilet.)
Then Wednesday: When I woke up, my muscles were tight, but after a little stretching, my loathing for the toilet diminished. At the gym, I did back, trying to talk myself out of running, but I was committed to it. I ran. First, with a limp of weariness and then I pushed through it, running two miles at my best time yet. I was a champion. I would not fear the toilet bowl.
And then Thursday: I had planned on running, but decided not to because I could barely look the toilet bowl in the eye. Bastard. I took a rest day instead.
But Friday: I had regained my form, running a solid two miles with gas left in the tank. I could have run longer, but I didn’t want to push it just yet, especially after my recent affair with tortilla chips.
Saturday and Sunday: I felt great. I did not run, but I played hours of badminton, which meant–
Today, I felt loose when I woke up. I did that killer leg work-out again–a day late, I know; I was visiting the in-laws in a world without 24 Hour Fitness. This time, I would not be stopped. I made my way through the work-out well, quicker than normal (I’m telling you–it’s the badminton.), and then I did it–I ran.
I ran until my legs felt like they were in quicksand. I only lasted a little over a mile–and it was my slowest mile in awhile–but when I got off the treadmill, I didn’t feel like I was going to crumple. Or vomit. I felt…good…and sweaty.
I still feel good right now almost 12 hours later. But let’s see what the toilet has to say about it tomorrow.