On any given day, it feels like half my body has expired. If it’s not my calf, it’s my knee. If it’s not my knee, it’s my other knee. If it’s not my knee, it’s my back. If it’s not my back, it’s my shoulder. I thought a part of this deterioration might have come from being sedentary. I was a gym rat when I was younger. If I wasn’t at home, school, or the library, I was at the gym. For five days a week, at least 90 minutes a day, I was at the gym. I missed being so disciplined, but I wonder now if such diligence stemmed from actual discipline or was just a mechanism for working out my dissatisfaction with other areas of my life.
I find myself happy, now. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, when my school and/or work obligations were through for the day, I’d using working out as a catharsis. Getting those endorphins in my bloodstream counteracted my insecurity from not having the girl I fancied, or my restlessness from living with my parents, or my impatience to have a job with gainful income. Those issues are mostly non-existent now. I well past the age of crushes. Whatever infatuations I may entertain are brief and balanced with the knowledge that having a relationship doesn’t give my life value, nor would it solve any problems or necessarily make me happier, and neither does being single mean my existence is devoid of purpose.
I’m gainfully employed as well. While I don’t make the money I previously made, I’ve set myself up to minimize my costs, so, combined with living in a more affordable area, I actually have more money after taxes and necessary expenditures (insurance, utilities, gas, etc.). I don’t hate my job either. It’s like any other position; there will always be bad days, but even my bad days hear are better than my good days where I previously worked. I don’t come to work and feel like I want to hang myself in the men’s room as soon as I sit down at my desk. I’m also legitimately good at what I’m doing. There will always be a few students who don’t take school seriously, but generally my students understand what I teach and appreciate my efforts.
I also have my own house. I don’t have to live amongst my mother’s clutter or my dad’s hoarding. I cook the meals I want. I go to the restaurants I prefer. I mow my lawn when I deem doing so necessary. I sit on my couch, fire up Netflix, Hulu, or my gaming laptop, and enjoy my time off as I see fit while one of my cats jumps up and spends the evening sitting next to me.
When my day is over, I don’t have any frustrations that need to be vented. My life circumstances are much better for me mentally and emotionally, but the drawback is that my fitness is sliding. My midsection is getting softer. Stairs are getting harder to climb. Tricks I used to be able to do like no-handed kip ups find me landing on my back instead of my feet. I’ve tried to combat this phenomenon by being more consistent in working out, but doing so has led injuries. I somehow gave myself a baker’s cyst in my right knee by doing body weight squats. I’ve done body weight squats for years, over a decade, sometime by the 100s, and a few months ago I felt a “pop” behind my right knee, and know bending or straightening my leg is always accompanied by some discomfort. I used to do backbends as a stretch, and now the full extension leaves my lower back nagging at me. Sometimes, I don’t even know what caused the injury. A couple of weeks ago, I mowed my lawn, and the day after I woke up with a pulled calf muscle. Basically, I just walked around my yard for an hour, and I woke up with a limp the next day.
It’s endlessly frustrating. If I do nothing, my body weakens, if I try to combat it, I seem to exacerbate the problem. I think I may set up a doctor’s appointment regarding my knee. I expect he or she will drain the fluid and give me a collagen injection of my research into baker’s cysts is accurate. I don’t want to have to take any time off from jiu-jitsu, but I’ve got to get this resolved somehow. Funny how life is never perfect; there’s always some problem that needs to be addressed.