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The Inability to Exercise Blues
January 17, 2017
Portland, Oregon is not a place that typically experiences snow. Portlanders can access snow year round on the majestic Mount Hood, but for the most part, the city remains powder free. However, this winter has proven to be an exception. It is only a few weeks into winter and already Portland has been hit by numerous winter storms. In fact, the last storm slammed the city with over a foot of snow!
On the rare occasions that it does snow in Portland, the city practically shuts down. There are only so many plows in the city and the majority of Oregon refuses to salt roads. So, instead of digging out the car and driving to work on plowed and salted roads, most Portlanders get numerous days off of work, which are spent sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing and XC skiing throughout the neighborhood streets and local parks.
The day after the storm, I slapped my skis on in my garage and ventured through the streets and Gabriel Park for hours. On my way to the park I passed snowboarders being towed by a rope attached to a car (while holding a beer in the other hand), kids flying down hills on large pieces of cardboard, and several happy dogs frolicking in the snow. I was so excited to not have to drive an hour or more to Mount Hood in order to get my outdoor winter fix. Then my phone rang....
"Hello, this is Mount Scott Surgical Center calling to confirm your surgery tomorrow."
I have dealt with chronic nose pain for the majority of my life and just figured that I would have to continue dealing with it until death do us part. However, last week I saw an ENT who said that my septum was beyond deviated and that surgery would greatly enhance my quality of life. I was so excited about the prospect of experiencing a day without intense pain and pressure in my nose, so I booked a surgery for the following week.
My ENT specialist said that my nose troubles must have been initiated by some childhood accident. Ironically, the only incident I could think of was a sledding mishaps I had over 20 years ago. My brother and I were both on a sled heading downhill when all of a sudden my brother jumped off the sled without warning, and before I could figure out why, I slammed face first into a tree. Now I am surrounded by a foot of snow, which I cannot enjoy because post-surgery instructions state that I cannot exercise for the next 1-2 weeks. Instead, I have to sit upright with gauze strapped to my face while I watch the snow and abundant sunshine (which are both rare in Portland this time of year) disappear.
Being sober the past few weeks has been difficult enough, especially when living in such a mecca of amazing breweries. Doing it without exercise is a whole new challenge. One which, I must add, I am not doing so well with. However, I acknowledge that this is all part of the process. Just another lesson that I need to learn. This is stupid, I hear myself saying in a little annoying teenage way. I feel like one of my students complaining about a math assignment. Usually I respond to them by saying, "Stupid translates to, 'this is hard.' Subjects do not have a mental capacity, therefore they cannot be stupid." Now here I am with my foot in my mouth and a bandage on my nose. Well...at least I have Willabee, my love nugget of a cat, and the ability to read and write in order to pass the time.