I had a physical exam this morning, performed by my primary care physician. He is a good doctor and I consider him a friend. We have a special relationship because I had an appointment with him on September 11, 2001. He has told me that I am the only patient he can recall seeing that day. My appointment was in the afternoon, after the terrorist attacks. He and I discussed the day’s events at length, trying to figure out why it happened and how it could have been avoided. We also railed against the idiocy that would have prompted humans to do such unimaginable things. It was probably good therapy for both of us.Ball Chair

I think I passed the exam. At least, the good doctor didn’t recommend any dramatic changes in my lifestyle or any exotic testing.

If you are a male (especially at middle age or beyond) you know what sorts of humiliations I had to endure. But they are necessary and part of the process of maturing. I won’t go into any other details about the exam, except to say that my doctor brought up the issue of weight loss. Yes, I lost weight. Reading back through my records, he saw that my weight over the past 9 years has been between 130 and 140. Those of you who have seen me probably could have guessed that. My weight this morning was 123.

I explained that my weight lost can probably be attributed to a change in diet (elimination of nearly all bread and the consuming of more vegetables) and the amount of exercising I’ve been doing. He seemed to accept my explanation. My appetite is good, I feel good, and I don’t suffer from weakness or shortness of breath. I’m slight of build and have been for a long time. I’m just a bit more slight than I was several months ago. I believe that I’ve converted some flab into muscle, which is probably a good thing.

So much for my size and weight.

I attended a training session tonight with Erin. I was assigned more difficult exercises than I had done so far. Several involved the use of cloths placed on the floor and used as sliding devices for my hands and feet. Those exercises were some of the most difficult of the evening. When you’re sliding a body part, strain is placed on the muscles used to facilitate the sliding movement. Take my word for it.

I also used the exercise ball for a couple of the exercises. All sorts of devilish drills can be performed with these balls. We have two of them at home that we use from time to time. We even have a chair that uses an exercise ball for the seat (see photo). Just don’t let them lose air. It takes a long time to pump them back up, especially if you use the cheesy little hand pumps that are packaged with them.

One exercise I couldn’t do involved lying flat on my belly, lifting my legs up off the floor, stretching my arms out ahead of me, and moving my arms in a pulling motion. I have severe motion issues in my shoulders and could not pick my arms up off the floor to do this one. So Erin had me use an exercise ball to raise myself off the floor. I just lay down over the ball, picked my legs up and then my arms (as high as I could) and started the pulling motion. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do that exercise the way it should be done, because I’m not sure I’ll ever have adequate range of motion in my shoulders. You just do what you can and move on to the next exercise.

I feel pretty copacetic right now. I usually do after these sessions. I recommend this stuff to anyone who needs a good workout with some guidance. Check out the Kachmann Mind Body site. They probably have something that would be of interest to you.


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