Break Me Off

Q&A a Day: Do you need a break? From what? I’m on a break from school till Monday and off of my nine year employment hiatus.

Pedaling along, over 100 rpm, and this is what I hear: the swoosh of rowing, the squeaky bike beside me, pounding of feet, pulling of cable, steady heavy forced breathing, rusting chains clanking, dumbbells dropping, men sweating while they wait, bad news on tv, phone ringing, music barely audible, treadmill cruising, elliptical buttons beeping, towels wiping, bottle spraying, someone grunting, and words of guidance, just to name a few reasons why I should, but don’t wear headphones.

I dropped Caleb off on the corner because it was faster for him to walk to work in 21 minutes instead of wait at least twice that in traffic (though he had a van bump into him and a Jeep try to run him over at the first intersection). It took me just as long to drive to the gym in Coronado. I got on the elliptical for the first time in months and was going to row next, but someone beat me to it. I had a decent, but short workout, and walked into the sauna like I owned it (like I do on the weekends when no one is there).

But this time I found three other women inside. Two were quite uncomfortable with my attire (or lack thereof, but I did bring a towel) and the other was giving off such positive vibes. When the negative ninnies left I thought I’d be able to stretch out, but it wasn’t long before the staff came to tell me I’d need another towel to stay inside. The positive woman with me stated that other people are self conscious of their bodies and have to shame others for theirs. I agree, but I thought women were marching to stick together.

I showered quickly, but dressed slowly as I listened to the woman, 50 years old, talk with a 62 year old in the shower about one recovering from knee and the other from heart surgery to do the Spartan race and impressing the active duty girls with their seven mile hike. I went over and chatted with them a bit and told them my blind dog can hike that far and that those girls should get new inspiration. They had been complimenting each other on looks as well, and I agree. I hope to look that well at their age, and they say it’s because they can ride 112 miles on a bike in one day. I’ve only done 50 miles in one day, but did it for three days in a row.

I circle the parking lot of the clinic where I’m due for my well woman exam at 9:45. I find a spot as someone pulls out and inside most of the seats are full. I know my appointment will be late. I get a voicemail afterwards telling me that my time was moved to 10:05, but I’m still not seen until 10:30. I’m able to read half of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl while I wait. The doctor is super kind and has a sense of humor. While he’s knuckle deep he asks, “Any discomfort besides the obvious discomfort of the exam?” but I’m fine. He wasn’t shy about his work and was happy with what he saw professionally.


“Hello, I see you moving in there.”

We got out the foam rollers today in class and the kids had a blast pretending they were racecar drivers, surfers, long boarders, cats, goats, rabbits, and flamingos while they worked on their balance and jumping skills. I got to play along and had fun too. Outside was kickball and now the kids are pitching so I’m more of a sideline coach with less sun in my eyes (which is a good thing because I forgot my sunscreen today). We had one kid being too bossy during soccer and a girl doing a fake manicure get hit by a ball, but otherwise a good day with no trips to the nurse and not too many tears.

It’s a good thing Caleb messaged me or I would’ve bypassed him (as I’m his ride). I waited five minutes outside his office and then left him outside the house to work on the car till dark while I came inside for a snack with the dogs before walking them before sunset for the warmth the sun offers on these cool San Diego days. I checked my email and received my DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan results from Dec. 10th that I got done at UCSD to help their students prepare for a future study and to test my bone density.

The scan also measures body fat percentage and I compared it to the In-Body composition (a bioelectrical impedance analysis) and I don’t agree with one of them, but that can be fixed. My resting metabolic rate is 1,427 calories/day and my bone mineral density Z-score (age/gender matched comparison) is 1.4 (with a healthy range between -1 and 4). My RSMI (relative skeletal muscle index) is 6.91 kg/m², which is the amount of muscle in my limbs relative to my height. I’m at risk below 5.45 at which point I would be 38% body fat or greater.

Finally, the T-score which came back great for my lumbar spine and left femur, but has me waiting to ask ortho (I have my broken toe appt. on Friday) about osteopenia (low bone density before osteoporosis — a condition that makes your bones look like Swiss cheese) in my left forearm. I should probably do more push-ups and eat more calcium. I finally increased my step target back up to 10,000 steps from 3,000 with crutches and the last month at 9,000 with a 66% success rate.


tempeh-carrot-onion salad with citrus habanero oil dressing

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