Workout Log 20 July 2012: Kill or Cure

Planned to walk first thing in the morning to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Pool, but took a later ferry than planned with the result that the walk was in demoralizing, march or die mes enfants, last survivor of the garrison weak from loss of blood, 35 degree heat…and when I got to the pool, set in a beautiful park honoring Dr Sun Yat Sen (China’s founding father of democracy), it was temporarily closed owing to “water quality”.

Decided to treat the 40 minute walk as the workout where I treat hiking as if twenty minutes on a reasonably difficult hike equates to one mile of running and ten minutes of aerobics, and this urban hike was owing to the heat and the “flyovers” (bridges over all-important roadways over which the mere pedestrian must climb) quite difficult. In fact I was hit by heat exhaustion on the return trip and barely made it to Starbuck’s in the Shun Tak center for breakfast and hydration.

Yet these kill or cures seem to be, to my untutored eye and hand, shrinking the tumor on my shoulder? It is, it seems a mere noddle or doddle compared to what it was. Or, the hormone treatment regimen may be doing this, or, my qualitative assessment of the tumor may be all screwed up.

What is it like to be ill far from home? I don’t know since I do not know where “home” is anymore. Certainly, I get more from encounters in Yung Shue Wan from friends than I can seem to extract from the kids by way of emotional blackmail (not being good at EB), since aging hippies and colonials stick together. A father that pays his child support and arranges, long distance, time with his kids, hasn’t got much more than Economy Class coming when it comes to his dotage.

Walking almost without strain and without pain, which is a real advance over last month. The next step, two weeks from now (after some trial Jane Fonda aerobics sessions) will be to see if I can run a 100 yards without dying of a heart attack (unlikely), getting heat stroke, or experiencing more sciatic pain. The piniformis area (under the butt) seems kind of hollowed out in the sense that there is no referred pain but sone energy and flexibility is still gone.

Thinking, if I’d gone to work for IBM or Microsoft, I’d have gold-plated insurance and be able to stay at a cancer center in a one-bedroom apartment with meal service. Yeah right…forty years of meetings to plan meetings and corporate intrigue…sure, Microsoft might have been a bit better had I got on a good development team but my experience at Bell-Northern Research these teams are always under attack. As it happens I am getting precisely what I need. Je ne regrette rien.

Your Weberian Puritan tries to assess his life’s net material happiness since in Puritanism that’s an indication of whether his soul is saved, whence Americans are always comparing their net material and familial satisfaction, assessed roughly by how closely their lives match Disney movies, especially starring Steve Martin. Whereas my self-assessment is based not on the image of the patriarch, who’s got a home, but of the voyager (Viator), today mounting the steps of the flyover like Lao T’se climbing a mountain and rebuked in the Shun Tak mall for sitting in the staircase (I was trying to get my strength for the last steps to Starbuck’s). Gotta love China, they don’t ask howya doing they rebuke you for sitting on your arse.

I really didn’t want my heat exhaustion (sweating, weakness) to turn into heat stroke (no sweating, death) so I was careful when I recognized it. But I almost lost it after doing one flyover, only to see that to get to the shops level of the Shun Tak center I’d have to mount the stairs of another flyover.

I have run in these conditions and I hope to again. But it’s going to take time to get back up to running even two miles. Running made me fully human: some say that it was invented by proto-humans for whom it became a mystery which set them apart. We do not need to run unless we’ve been in some way culled out, marked, and thereby pursued by game that we wanted to pursue, or bill collectors.


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