Since July 30th, I have only been to the gym once, because my right arm and both shoulders started aching. I thought it might have been “tennis elbow” or that I had hurt myself doing pull ups. The orthopedist said it was a mild case of whatever it was, and that nothing appeared torn. I needed rest and time. In spite of that advice, I continued to play tennis and practice squash, noticing that the aches were minor after each match.

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

I have also been to a physical therapist five times for two hours each visit. In addition to arm exercises, I am now doing lat pull downs there and working a lot on my right ankle, which has not healed completely since I sprained it on May 12th and interrupted my racket sports for over a month.

One exercise requires me to stand on my right foot for two minutes while throwing a five-pound ball to the therapist who throws it right back to me…but I am standing on a trampoline! This is very hard. It stresses and strains the whole leg. Amazing how much I improve with each session as the muscles strengthen. The therapists can hardly stay up on one foot when they try it, and they are on the solid floor.

During this injured, two-month period, I lost my momentum with exercise workouts, became lazy and undisciplined and basically stopped almost everything. For no physical reason, I eased up on my abs workouts, which could have continued without any problem. I only did crunches four times in all of August. Pretty sad and really bad. I had been doing a minimum of eight times a month.

September has been better. Disgusted with my inaction, I started the crunches again and have actually set records. I worked on the abs eight times:

Sept 7: 100+100+100+200=500 ball crunches (record had been 750 total)

Sept 9: 100+61+60+60=281 bicycles + 70 ball crunches (record had been 300 bicycles in three sets + 200 ball crunches)

Sept 11: 100+75+75+75=325 bicycles + 225 ball crunches

Sept 14: 150+150+150+200=650 ball crunches

Sept 17: 100+100+100=300 bicycles + 250 ball crunches

Sept 21: 100+100+100=300 bicycles + 300 ball crunches (new record)

Sept 26: 250+250+300=800 ball crunches (new record)

Sept 29: I crunched in a variety of ways by following an abs workout tape that my son gave me as a challenge. I was at the advanced level and found it too easy. I will include more variety going forward, but love the pain and strain of those bicycles and ball crunches