Thursday, August 26, 2010

I love a (warm) cloudy day

Yesterday was a great day for exercising.

It was cooler (around 70 degrees), cloudy and damp, with light showers and sprinkles. The precipitation waited long enough for me to play so-called doubles on the clay courts with Korby, Kit and Deb. Once again my tennis friends put up with me, giving me three (and once, just once, even four) serves. But I needed less coddling. I moved better and connected for some good shots down the line and at the net.

The prednisone baby demanded feeding, so afterwards we went to a restaurant where I ordered lasagna. I needed (OK, I wanted) dessert, so I went with Korby to her house, where we ate her speciality, crack-ups, and talked for more than an hour. She brings crack-ups to matches; they are melted butter and chocolate on saltines, an irresistible combination of sweet and salty.

Afterwards I went home to walk Maddie around the lake. I felt so good that I did some so-called jogging three times between trees, going pretty far for me. Thanks to physical therapy, my two-pound ankle weights and the reduction in my prednisone, I am able to lift my feet up better.

I thought about how I often feel better on cloudy, damp days; not the biting kind of November or the overheated kind of summer, but the calming kind of spring, late summer and fall. The words "negative ions" come to mind.

Years and years ago, my cousin from California showed up at my house in Northampton (Mass.) with her pony-tailed boyfriend and their negative ion generator. They explained that the machine created feel-good molecules like the ones that are naturally present in humid air and around water. I thought it sounded kind of kooky, but ever since then I noticed that my mood and energy were often better in such air.

I looked it up and found an interesting article on Web MD, which read in part,

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy... For a whopping one in three of us who are sensitive to their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air. You are one of them if you feel instantly refreshed the moment you open a window and breathe in fresh, humid air."

Today it was sunny, and although I love a beautiful day, I didn't feel as perky. (Maybe that's because I overdid it yesterday. Duh.)

I had my penultimate physical therapy session, where my left arm continued to take a beating. This is the arm I fell on twice. It never fully recovered from the last fall. It hurts on and off all the time, and I have limited motion in it. (Which doesn't help my already weak serve.) I am going to get it x-rayed that next time I go to Dana-Farber. In the meantime, it already looks like a mess, suffering more of those red blobs than the right arm, for some reason.

Today I was having fun tossing a small basketball back and forth with Susan, my therapist for the day. She moved the ball around so I was never sure which side to move to, thereby challenging my balance. We didn't have enough space, and one time I lunged when she tossed it way to my left. Wham! I slammed right into the corner of a high counter where they keep their computers.

She asked if it hurt, and while it did, I didn't want to stop to acknowledge it, because I only had a little over half an hour. So I said no, I was fine, and we continued. When my time was over, we took a peek, and it was already turning black and blue, so I iced it for 15 minutes before leaving.

By tomorrow it should be nice and purple.

Oh well. Could be worse.


Susan C said...

I love how you played through the pain at pt.

Nelle said...

Interesting about the ions. I find it is difficult for my lungs to breathe in humidity but I am fine at the beach. Sounds like you are making progress physically after all your hard work this is great news. Sorry about the injury.

saucony progid said...

Wow, what a great experienced you have. Lets keep running for life.
--Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. ~Soren Kierkegaad