August 08, 2003

Sore Looser

The part du jour is: The Right Shoulder! Another day, another reason to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (or anti-inflammable as one patient used to call Motrin and its relatives). For forty years, the response to a new pain was to try to pin it to overuse or minor bumps or such; but these days, a new pain could crop up without any known provocation at all. It hurts because you have exceeded the contracted limit of 750 million shoulder flexions. Sorry. After all these years, sir, the warranty has expired and management is not required to give any explanation for broken or malfunctioning parts. Yes, you can file a complaint with the manufacturer if it makes you feel better; or take a few more Advil and just hush.

This time, now that I think about it, I can link pain with activity. Somehow there is a comfort in a known cause and effect versus spontaneous decrepitude. The shoulder pain is mulch-related for certain. After sitting out all night in the rain in the back of my pickup, by yesterday morning it was nice and saturated and brick-heavy to the tune of maybe twenty pounds per pitchfork full times a hundred repetitions. I had to get the job done yesterday between showers or else leave the truck in Long Term Parking at the airport full of shredded tree bark. Okay. It's muscle soreness. I can live with that.

Hmmm. The right shoulder. Mulch. Wheels turn, prompted by the sour smell of wood chips and I can think of other things to blame for this affliction. When I was in the eighth grade, I got interested in high jumping. When you watch the sport today, you see jumpers using the "Texas roll" as I think it was originally called, where the right leg goes over first approaching the bar from the left. They land on their sides on four-foot-thick foam pads. That jumping technique was new back then. I had learned using the scissoring 'leading leg first' method in which you land on your feet.

Having just discovered the wonder of gender difference by that time, I was determined to win the track meet high jump and impress a certain young lady, and so experimented with learning the 'shoulder over first' rolling method that the serious prize-winning jumpers were using. I tried it only once. We used pine chip mulch instead of four-foot-thick foam pads on the other side of the bar. Up and over the bar I went, turning face down as I crossed the bar, falling face down into the unyielding pit of mulch, with most of the shock taken by my right shoulder. They called it an acromio-clavicular separation. See... right there that big lump on my right shoulder.

I decided that given the pitiful absence of shock absorption in our high-jump pit, maybe I'd better stick with the old jumping technique. I won first place at four feet ten inches. But I didn't get the girl. She'd been watching when I did the face-plant in the sawdust and was not impressed. Women.

Posted by fred1st at August 8, 2003 06:37 AM | TrackBack
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