Walking lessons

Stripes, a Moron Movie of 1981:

Sgt Hulka: HUP two three four…
Harold Ramis: Hey! We’re walking!

First of all I mostly feel grateful for thirty years of running all over the world if my running is at an end; if the sciatica is linked to my cancer it may be (it is not known to be at this time). It is like Chief Dan George, in that old film Little Big Man: thank you great spirit (Welt Geist in “St Louis Hegelianism” a real if forgotten American school of philosophy): here is part of a prayer of thanksgiving from the Haudosaunee:

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

In the scene of Old Lodge Skins (played by Dan George) in Little Big Man, he thanks the four winds, the sky and the ground. He then proceeds to die but cannot. So he and Little Big Man go down the mountain (in a possible reference to Abraham and Isaac, who went down a mountain?) and Old Lodge Skins says, do you want to eat.

Moral: don’t count your chickens.

Now, my left leg is gimpy. Apart from the pain, which characteristic of sciatica starts in the lumbar, chomps on the piniformis in your ass, then smacks the great muscle that fronts the great Femur, and, for shits and giggles, hits your hip joint, with in the worst cases causes a bit of referred pain in the other hip joint (which may just want to join in the fun, although I do not know how the pain goes through equine cauda), the constant, unlike the pain which comes and goes, is the surface numbness connected with a deeper difficulty in keeping the left foot in tune with the right.

Well, I know that running will cause agony. My last run was fine during the run but caused pain later. Comments from runners are welcome on this issue, since as gradually over the years at Power Station Beach, as I turned from the initial start into the first stretch, I could feel the left leg’s slight unwillingness to get on parade, to get with the program. I also stumbled on it during my dance performance last December.

But the left leg was always able to get on parade and then the overall “high” made me forget its weakness.

I have since 26 March (my son’s birthday) stopped all running to replace running with the equivalent time spent dancing with weights, working out with “Badass” Billy Blank in his Ripped Extreme Tae-Bo workout and swimming or dancing in the water. This and a radically improved diet gives me “negative” love handles where the flesh retreats from the hip slightly and visible abs, both of which I am very vain. “Positive” love handles are a male bane, simply because we have narrower hips.

Yes, all is vanity. But Creation should be celebrated and not scorned. To TS Eliot, and “that which is only living can only die”, I say this is wrong, and “love that well which thou may leave ere long.”

Walking with weights is reasonably aerobic, I need to do it more.

Steps are great because your gait is far more manageable yet they are almost as aerobic as running. I was most delighted to climb Queen Mary’s stairs during my stay last week. There is a set of steps that rises above Sok Kyu Wan on Lamma Island and leads to the rather remote beach of Tung O Wan, where there are black flowers and white butterflies in June.

I need to watch food intake. The pain causes depression, and my own vegetarian cooking in this Dawn of Man needs to be doused in hot sauce to be at all palatable since it’s raw vegetables in a commercial soup base. So I eat light. But last night, at a great vegetarian restaurant in Wanchai I couldn’t stop eating different delicious bits and forgetting to use serving chopsticks. But that’s probably OK because one good thing about cancer is that it isn’t contagious, and your friends do not shun you.

At this point my lifetime thinness is not implicated in the health problem. Indeed, it has probably delayed onset of cancer, and has helped me to avoid common illnesses.

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