Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hips (still) don't lie

Monday I worked the treadmill for the second time. I felt winded. And I was painfully (that's not the right word) aware of my knees. The pressure on my knees. The impact on my knees. Not just my left knee, my right knee. Running is a terrible thing to do to your body.

And that old, familiar ache in my right hip. On my second, short jog. Hey, old man, step aside!

My wife told me something I had not heard before (because I do not know what I am doing) about the importance of weight training as part of a good regimen. Strong muscles help cushion the blows in running. When you do not have strong calves, thighs, quads, then the only thing to cushion the jarring effect of running is the cartilage and bone. And I have felt the results.

PT has given me much stronger legs, and I hope to continue keeping them in shape as long as I choose to run. When I run. When I run.

Lately I have been hovering around 160. And the holidays are coming up. Can I say no? Can I decline that which is offered?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Daddy runs.

On the treadmill, eight minutes, five miles an hour.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boring but beautiful.

It's migraine weather. And my prescription is out of date. I am trying to hold off serious pain by taking otc meds, they worked last year. The Imitrex has gotten so expensive, I calculate how many hours a day I need to work in order to justify taking one.

No stretches this morning, I needed to sleep. I took two Benadryl last night, which hit me over the head good and tight. I hope to make up for that later today. At PT yesterday Melissa had me on the jumping machine. Weird!

Sunday the entire creative staff got together for a reading at Ali's. That's when I clocked an hour fifteen. I wish a playwriting fairy would light on my shoulder and tell me exactly which part I should dump to bring this beast down to size.

At PU last night, two very helpful observations were made ... if this play is about what runs through a guy's head while he's running the race (not my original intent, but that's how SG described it, and so he says, so it is) then the history of Marathon is not that.

And MO said it is "beautiful but boring," which he obviously meant as a critique of EC's reading abilities, but that's okay, EC is still a nice guy.

It's a warning. The names are difficult to follow, the story is well-known (except to those in the room for whom it wasn't) and it doesn't sound like me. A challenge.

The second regards THE ICON, and that I should just say what it is. So what if the Angel at Bethesda has been mentioned or pictured in everything from Godspell to Angels In America? Don't make it diffuse.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I give up.

The show's going to be 1 hour 15 minutes. There's no way of getting around that.

Friday marked four weeks since I began physical therapy. I may be on the treadmill - walking - tomorrow morning. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Not a good morning. The boy was up many times last night with nightmares ... he often tells us he is having nightmares when he is wide awake, I wonder if this is a ploy or if he is truly having bad thoughts. Knew we shouldn't have watched that Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween special, that was kinda spooky.

Anyway, he was up - a lot - in the middle of the night (really, I'm not kidding about that Thomas DVD) and then there's the fact that I just crash after day after day or rising at 5.30 to do strenuous (for me) exercises for an hour and a half.

Today I slept in (which is to say, past 5.30) thinking I could catch maybe a half-hour of stretches before heading off to work, and make up the rest later.

Squats are to be performed until the thigh and calf are at a ninety degree angle. This requires weight placed directly over the heels, not the middle of the foot. Two weeks ago we added a free weight that I hold straight out from my chest as I squat. After one round of squats, steps and pointwork, I began the next round of squats ...

And dropped my ass almost to the floor. No pain. I could squat that far. I couldn't squat that far before the incident.

I felt a little overwhelmed .. and then the crying started. I howled for about half a minute. I have been keeping so much anxiety and sorrow about this injury inside for so long I just popped. It was amazing. Wow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Push the Button

The other day I wore a pair of slacks I haven't worn since 2004. Gained a pound yesterday, but the out-laws are in town. Eat and drink we must.

The past several days my knee has begun to hurt in the way it used to ... they say this is normal, Dr. V. even asked if I still had the heavy-duty pain medication. For real? I am being encouraged to pop a Vicodin when the pain gets troublesome? How about morphine?

I am sticking to naproxen and the occasional (rare) ice-pack. I should probably do the icepack more often. Like right now.

Here's your morning wake-up call:

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Anatomy of a Blow-off

Took the kids to see Into the Woods last night - the first half. They know it by heart, the first half. Don't know when we will let them experience the second half yet, maybe when they are eightteen.

So it was a late night getting the children to bed. And we needed to watch Project Runway (doesn't everyone?) Recently I have been eschewing alcohol after dinner. Gone are the days of the nightcap - so 2007. I have been enjoying tea with my TV. But I knew someone was going down and that it wouldn't be Kenley, and dammit I was right. I almost cried.

Tugboat. Blow me.

Anyway, I said screw it, let's have a Manhattan and let the kids - and the parents sleep in. It was jus that kind of night. I set the clock for 6 but then changed it to 7, can you believe that?

I had a strong, vivid dream, about smoking a cigarette. I have not had a cigarette since June 2001. I haven't touched one, maybe as a prop, never touched one to my lips. Usually when I have smoking dreams I stop in the middle and think, "Oh my God! What am I doing???" Last night, in my mind, I did it on purpose. With intent. I needed a smoke. And I smoked it hard, to the squeaky-clean filter.

I did not rest easy that last 30 minutes. I skipped my morning house-PT. And I can feel it. I am hoping there is a small amount of time during the late afternoon to catch up, but I don't know when. One day off. I will more than make up for it at the clinic tomorrow. And hopefully never play around like this again, not for a long time.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Let the poop scenes breathe."

Playwrights' Unit again tonight. Praise for the rhythm, and observations about where the rhythm isn't working right. The words are running.

The chronology can be confusing ... I have been working to pare down details, to focus on action and emotion and not exposition. One scene in particular has too many players on the pitch (the verse "the wife's lover's children and my lover's wife" suddenly springs to mind) and I think I can take care of that, too, easily.

And the poop scenes are too close together.

Cutting, cutting, cutting ... bring it in under 60 minutes. Now, it's a race.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Torn and shorn

My left, medial meniscus - the inside, between my legs. Healthy.

My pre-operative, lateral (outside) meniscus. As Dr. V. called it, a "hangnail."

The torn part of the meniscus, now cut away. Fascinating!

I will run again!

I needed some good news. And I got it.

Last week my hard drive crashed, and I am looking at a major investment to recover a year or more worth of data. Thankfully the most important writing was backed up, printed, squirreled away somewhere. This play is safe. My iTunes library ..?

And, you know, recreating email address databases, getting the rehabbed mac up to speed ... Time! Money! Time!

Had PT today, followed by a check-up with the good doctor. He says I may be running again in eight weeks! Check that - I may run again!

That makes it a good day.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

At my last PT, handweights were included. At the same time, my meragia has intensified to the point that performing squats creates a sharp pain in my right thigh ... sometime. I am free to guess when it may strike. But it's not something you can come out of swiftly, so, you know. That sucks.

I have dropped below 165. This is a good thing, hate to be vain (can't help being vain, ackshodry) but I will be changing my clothes a lot onstage. I don't need to look buff. I just don't want to look bad.

CPT held an orientation meeting for Big Box yesterday morning. We signed contracts, went over details of the program. ATYD will be coupled with another one-act solo perf., Claus for a Moment by Jeffery Glover.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Had my first read-through with Ali yesterday, came in around 1:10. That isn't bad - considering I have so much I know I need to cut.

The physical therapy is becoming a concern, I think. Maybe. I can't tell. I mean, I didn't think I would be 100% immediately - or that I would be 100% ever. It is amazing how far I can bend my knee at all. It keeps improving. And yet ...

On Monday, Melissa asked me to do a move I just couldn't do - which was disheartening. I couldn't put my foot onto the bench behind me (3 feet off the ground) it was too much of a stretch for my knee.

Will I ever kneel again? Even a little bit? I haven't been able to put that kind of pressure on my knee since before I was injured. Will I run, let alone ever do any long distance running? No idea. Can I even do this show? Remains to be seen.