Sunday, April 30, 2006

One Particular Reprieve

Thanks to my banged-up foot, my two-week break at home has been stretched to three weeks or more. We worked at getting our garden going again. Since Dylan was born, we really haven't done much with it, but now that he's into "helping," we're hoping to have fresh vegetables again this summer.

I'd been inside for awhile, elevating my foot, which had been injured by an uncanny collaboration of one woman's breasts and a weight plate. I decided to take some water to Rhonda and Dylan, busily working away in the garden. As I began climbing the steps from the driveway to the garden, I heard them laughing. I stopped and watched. They were sitting in a garden bed, throwing mud balls at each other. Finally, Rhonda lunged forward, grabbed Dylan, and commenced tickling and kissing him.

I stood there, watching them as they must often interact when I'm away at work. I felt both sad and happy. Happy to have the chance to see them together in such a way, but sad to know that my job would take me away from them again.

But mostly, I felt grateful to have them in my life.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"A Man's Left Eye Never Marries," and Sometimes That Hurts

It's an old Chinese saying, or so I've been told.

For pretty much my entire adult life, I've had one particular routine: get in shape for a year, get out of shape for a year. This is a get in shape year, so in January, I joined a gym. Since I'm used to getting up at four in the morning on my work schedule, I usually start working out at five in the morning, which allows me to get back home about the time that Rhonda and Dylan get up, on school days.

Once I get back in an exercise routine, I tend to enjoy aerobic exercise, but I've never been that enthusiastic about weight training. I've done it because the exercise gurus say it's a vital part of overall fitness, but I've done it begrudgingly.

But then, in December, while stacking hay bales at home,I pulled a muscle in my upper back. I've never had a problem with pulled muscles before, but hey, I'll be fifty years old soon, so I decided that I should give a little more attention to weight training.

So, last Monday, I'd just finished a set on a shoulder machine. It was one of those machines you actually hang barbell disks upon to get the desired resistance, and I was about to re-rack the weights. A woman approached the machine next to me and bent forward to place her water bottle on the floor. She was wearing a loose-fitting t-shirt, and when she bent forward, she exposed her breasts. Not just in a fleeting, barely noticeable way. No. Those mammaries were right there. In my mind, word balloons led to both of 'em, shouting "LOOK AT ME!"

Now, I'm not one to gawk uncontrollably at women. But sheesh, a guy just can't be expected to be on guard for exposed breasts at five in the morning in the gym. You might say I was sort of, well, startled. But, determined to avoid being a rude dork--a married dork at that--I looked away, and went back to the task of re-racking my weights. I grabbed the weight disk and pulled. It was slow to slide off. I pulled harder. Only then did I actually look at what I was doing. I forgot that I had a smaller, twenty-five pound disk in front of the larger one. Too late. The twenty-five pound disk slipped off of the bar, and fell about four feet. Onto my foot.

I'm proud to say that I didn't unleash a torrent of profanity. But owie mama, did my foot ever hurt. I finished my weight workout out of stubbornness, then hobbled out the door to go home.

When I got home, I pulled off my sock and shoe to find a small wound on the top of my foot. The broken skin was between two metatarsal bones, so I reasoned that I likely hadn't broken anything.

However, nearly a week has passed, and my foot is still swollen and discolored. Rhonda is demanding that I go to the doctor tomorrow to get it checked out. She seems duly concerned, if not exactly sympathetic. Maybe it has something to do with how it happened.