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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Tour de Fatuity

“Fatuity” means stupidity. Thought I’d save ya a google there.

The other day I woke up feeling pretty good after the previous evening of staying in with some ladyfriends waiting for one of their booty-calls to show up while drinking “Peanut Butter Wine”… that wasn’t it’s real name, but apparently my palate was less picky than the rest of the crew who were sipping cham-head-pagne.

So anyway, that morning I started to entertain the idea of going on a nice breezy bike ride down the Rio Grande trail for a few hours before work.  I threw on a tank top, dabbed some sunscreen on my face, and roped on a fanny pack (yes, I go there) with a bottle of water in it and my phone and wallet for emergencies. 

The first part of the trail is paved and then it turns to dirt.  I’d never ridden out past the power plant and airport… basically the edge of this small town, but that day I was feeling adventurous.  I kept peddling and peddling… shady trees turned into rugged hot and bright rocky terrain- total cowboy-movie territory.  I was going farther and farther, noting that a lot of the distance I was covering was slightly downhill.  I knew that the Woody Creek Tavern (a local landmark) would come up at some point, so I kept riding until I found it.

I’m sure the Woody Creek Tavern was what it claims to be… an eccentric community shack of a local-fave colorful hang out… the kind of place where photos adorn every square inch of the walls… but when you have a long line of women dripping in diamonds sporting designer pink capri pants waiting in line for margaritas to “sample local flare”, it really all starts to feel like it’s authenticity jumped the shark sometime in the 80s. 

The place was buzzing with people and I wasn’t in the mood to wait 45 minutes for a $15 sandwich so I hopped back on my bike.  My head told me to turn back now- the terrain I had just covered was pretty dusty and bright- but my heart wanted to explore a bit further.

horsestraincar2

I biked past horse ranches and red stone cliffs and even two abandoned train cars that had been converted into private homes.  I finally stopped when I reached a sign that said “Basalt Trail” because I realized I’d biked clear into the next town…. and about TWENTY MILES. 

With a slight sense of urgency I turned around and started back.  After an hour of biking back up that “false flat”… aka a trail that looks flat but is actually demonically and invisibly tilted upwards so that you are continuously pedaling and working… I was praying for the Woody Creek Tavern on the horizon so I could refill my waterbottle and not end up  one of those bleached bone carcases of cows people see in the desert. 

I was totally bonking.  I hadn’t eaten breakfast, I was dangerously dehydrated, and I was in the un-shaded midday heat.  During one of my NDEs on the treck I knew I was gaining an intimate understanding of 2% of what Lance Armstrong  feels when he talks about “digging deep”.  This was one of the most challenging physical brier patches I’d ever accidentally fallen into.

My parched corpse finally reached the Tavern and I would have cried if I’d had any moisture left in my bod.  I refilled my water bottle twice from the cooler on the side of the building, gulping it down.  I sat in the shade for a bit and asked the waitress if there was a bus stop nearby where I could save myself from certain death if I attempted the last 10 miles home.   She said there was a bus stop by the highway, but that the hill to get there was so incredibly steep I’d have to walk my bike up, and that by the time I made it I’d probably have already ridden to Aspen. 

I was not thinking clearly.  A sane Tweetakeet would have called a cab at this point and paid $50 to be taken home, or not heeded the waitress’ recommendation and gone for the bus.  But the water was starting to alleviate my misery and I numbly got back on my bike and back on the trail. 

Very quickly I felt extremely ill and wanting to ralph up all the precious liquid I’d just consumed.  I had to get off the bike and sit in the shade of a dead bush for ten minutes and visualize the oasis of home to motivate on.  I got it together and got back on the bike, peddling up the slow and torturous incline.  I kept chastising myself… of COURSE it was going to be all uphill on the way back… there is a reason that the river flows the other direction… and that reason would be gravity.  There is a REASON why they call Basalt “down valley”… cause it’s DOWN, as in lower.

I had to stop 4 more times.  I contemplated leaving my bike in that barren wasteland and just walking home.  I called Hot Stuff and asked him to pick me up.  I told him I had died and was dead and could he please come get my body for a proper burial.  He replied “The birdies will eat you”… . Silly me, not having a sense of humor at that point.  I texted him a suggestion of what he could eat and powered on.

I got back to a portion of the trail that has a large waterfall and I soaked my tank top in it to cool off. I made it back to the paved trail, and finally, agonizingly, SIX HOURS after I had begun I got back to my condo where I stripped off all my clothes, ate two Jello Tapioca Puddings and a PBJ, wrapped myself in a blanket and shivered from extreme need of food and rest as I noted that my fingernails, toenails and lips were purple.  That must be some side effect of moronic overexertion. 

One hot shower and a take-out order of chicken and the most GLORIOUS mashed potatoes ever later, I was at work and bragging to anyone who would listen about my epic biking misadventure.

So some tips kids: You are the all-singing-all-dancing crap of the world and you CAN NOT go from zero to 40 miles of bike riding in a week.   It’s probably better not to peddle in the middle of the day for 6 hours and 40 miles in a tank top unless if you want a sunburn that looks like screwed up red angel wings on your back whose pain forces you to wear soft togas for 3 days afterwards.  And you should definitely make sure you’re dating a knight-in-shining-armor instead of a smart-mouthed-snowboarding-instructor before getting yourself in a jam in the wild west wilderness, cuz John Wayne isn’t around anymore to save your ass.  And if there’s no knight arms to collapse into in the end … there’s always the ever reliable and understanding Mr. Dazs:

icecream

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Strong Medicine

This afternoon after I picked up my surprisingly sexy little sporty red rental car from Hertz I decided to pop by an Acupuncture & Sports Therapy place I had seen once before on the outskirts of town.

I tried acupuncture for my anxiety issues for the first time in February and found that it produced immediate and curious results. Despite the unique relief that my first two sessions had rendered, I have been avoiding returning because I didn’t really click with my practitioner. His bedside manner was very detached and quiet- making me feeling ridiculous for wanting to ask many questions and know a little bit more about what was going on with the process. I had made a mental note in the back of my mind to check out this other location.

Upon entering I found the acupuncturist Sue sitting in the corner casually reading a magazine. The room was clean and felt breezy- with a definite feminine energy to it. Turns out that all the therapists that work there are women.

I immediately found myself casually chatting with Sue in the corner and rapidly dumping my entire history of a struggle with anxiety to her. Despite some instances in earlier childhood, my anxiety had not become an intrusive specter in my life until the tragic events of September 11th. Despite not being in NYC that day, or directly knowing anyone hurt or killed in the event, I had experienced what I can only describe as the most traumatic full-scale ER worthy panic attack I’ve ever known. I’ve never spoken to someone who has had such a violent physiological response to panic and anxiety- it was like an epileptic fit combined with a meltdown of all systems… cardiac, muscular, respiratory, digestive and psychological.

I do not know why I had such a violent personal response that day- all I can say is that I have grown to see that I am a very sensitive person with a vivid mind that is usually in over-drive, and I very likely was simply overwhelmed that day in a way that I was not able to handle at all. I floated through the next six months in rigid, disconnected anxiety and discomfort, and it took years for me to truly get to a generally happy stasis again.

After speaking with Sue for a while, she told me that she felt strongly that my Liver meridian/energy/element was in overdrive and out of whack. She drew a pentagram on a sheet of paper and showed me the 5 elements and which organs they related to, and how they could effect one another. The liver is the most typical element to be thrown out of whack in our modern life- and my body was showing the symptoms associated with the Liver/wood meridian which was in such overdrive that it was also affecting my Heart/fire zone. My symptoms that I generally described to her all fell in line with this analysis. I arranged to start a course of acupuncture with her when I returned to Aspen in June.

When I got home, I fired up google and started researching acupuncture and Liver/wood imbalances. I am generally a healthy skeptic, but my own experience with my first two acupuncture sessions combined with the realization that 10,000 years of Chinese medicine might know a thing or two over Wester medicine has made me a believer in this therapy.

All I can say is that I was semi-shocked to start reading about further symptoms of Liver/Wood imbalance and to recognize that I very very clearly suffer from all of them- from waking up at 3am every morning to chronic dry eye syndrome. But the REALLY spooky thing that inspired me to write this post was when I started to research what diet was best for treating Liver imbalances and the meal that I request for my mother to make each year on my birthday, yellow rice and black beans, was word-for-word stated as an excellent meal for this condition. I mean, seriously?????

I’m looking forward to treating this Spring as a boot camp for my health- eliminating sugar and processed foods from my diet, exercising daily, and getting back into my size 2 shorts. I’m also looking forwards to getting my liver in a healthier place and balancing it’s energies- I’ve wrangled with Western Medicine for almost 7 years now with no permanent relief… and I do feel that a more natural, Eastern practice is where I will find balance once again.

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