Monday, August 20, 2018

Please see your doctor before attempting any new exercise regimen...

Ah, to have friends who share their cottage life! The bonfires! The smores! The water activities!!


David, 45, who spent his youthful summers at one cottage or other - boating, fishing and excelling at every water sport - is the first in the water - skiing. He gets up on the skis first try, does a quick loop in the bay before dropping a ski to go slalom. A huge grin on his face as he easily crosses over the wake - looking like a fit, fearless, 17 year old version of himself.

Back in the boat he still has a smile - flexing his hands, getting the blood flow back.

"How's your back?" I ask.

"Good!  Good. My back is fine! My arms are a little tired." He grins manically. "My hands have no feeling in them. I have forearm palsy! It's all good!!"

Rissa's turn. Our long-limbed daughter is on the tube with our friends' little girl. Rissa's torso fits on the tube, but her legs dangle in the water.  "HIT IT!" Big smile on her face as we start out. The grin slips as the speed increases, replaced by a determined grimace.  The physical limitation of not actually fitting onto the tube becomes apparent when we hit rough water and watch as she somersaults when her "leg-drag" becomes an issue. We offer suggestions when she drags herself back onto the tube

"Bend your knees!! Keep your feet in the air!!"


My turn. I'm on the same tube with the youngest of our friend's kids - a little boy aged 6, who weighs in at 22% of my body weight. Let us all cogitate on the physics of this weight disparity for a moment. Having learned from Rissa's run, I'm keeping my feet in the air,  I scootch up the tube as far as I can trying to find that distribution of weight sweet spot between sinking us and crushing the small child beside me. As the boat slowly starts out, I'm propped like a enigmatic Sphinx, resting on my elbows very pleased with myself. "I've got this!" My side of the tube is quickly dragged under the surface  and I immediately flip into the lake, inhaling 'fresh' water. I am then tasked with dragging myself back onto the tube. I reach for the handles.

"You good?"

"HIT IT!" yells the child beside me.

"NO!!" I'm channeling my inner seal - imagining that my body is all muscle.


"HIT IT!!"

"NOT YET!" My body is NOT all muscle.


I flex everything in my body (muscle, bone, cartilage, phlegm) and finally manage to hold myself propped in a somewhat balanced position.


"HIT IT!!!"

I was never that person who could rock the flexed arm hang for Canada Fitness Test. I just didn't have the arm or core strength. I wish that Ms. Rogerson could have seen me as I held my body weight on that tube for the entire length of the ride. Afterwards, my arms ache from my armpits to my knuckles. When I put my pajama top that night, I think I might die.

DAY 2 

David enjoys another stellar ski run - a little longer this time. Upon his return, he looks a wee bit concerned as his arms shake uncontrollably. "You good?" I mouth. He does his best to give me thumbs up, but can't fully extend his thumbs.

Rissa agrees to try her hand at water skiing for the first time. After 4 attempts she's on the skis for a triumphant few seconds.

This is huge for Rissa. As a perfectionist, the fact that she didn't bail after the first attempt is monumental. I congratulate her when she's back in the boat. "Great job kiddo!"

"I've just given myself a Conestoga Lake Enema."

As I'm prepping to ski for the first time in 32 years, I'm feeling optimistic. I was, after all, a gymnast.

"Even if I CAN get up immediately," I whisper to David. "I won't. I don't want to show Rissa up."

On my first attempt, as I'm pushing to standing, I feel something strain in my left ass cheek. My flight or fight response is telling me to swim away. And yet, I pooh-pooh my instincts and get myself set for another attempt. As the boat pulls away the second time, I feel the strain in my ass morph into a more 'tear' like sensation.

"We're done here."

There's still tubing to be had though. David partners up with the the middle child who weighs 22% of his body weight. His shoulders are pretty much as wide as the tube and he looks mystified as to how he will be able to hold on. At one point when they hit a rough patch he manages to pull her body out of the air and back down to the tube.

"How was that?" I ask. David's face is a little ashen.

"Every time we bounced I was sacked."

"You were...?"

He looks down to his crotch. "Sacked."

"Oh hon." I gently pat his thigh. He winces.

Rissa decides to use the inner tube the next time. She wedges her ass into its centre.  "If this sucker flips over, you have to come in and save me right away," she says. "I will not be able to extricate myself without help."

Before we reach warp speed, she has a brilliant smile on her face and she balletically points her feet - preening. As the speed increases, her smile fades. On the edge of the tube, her flailing legs have a distinctly Muppet-like quality to them.

"You good," I ask, upon her return to the boat.

"Conestoga Lake enema #2."


Later, as we pull into our driveway at home, David takes a steadying breath before he exits the car. Rissa lets out a strangled cry as she opens the car door and they both help me leave the vehicle.

"Where does it hurt?" I ask David.

"My entire right side from knee to nipple. And my forearms."


"Mostly forearms. Plus two lake enemas is two too many. I've never had that much water in my body ever."

They turn to me, each holding a side as I limp to the door, waiting for my prognosis.  "I broke my ass."

We all moan as we shut the front door.

"Next year? We train for 2 months beforehand. Agreed?" We attempt to raise our arms to shake on it, but can't.