Not meant as a brag here, but my brother showed my a picture of me up in a tree from about 1987 or so. "Jesus", I said, "I look like Tarzan". Yeah, those days are gone... maybe.
It is now seven weeks and five days on since my nephrectomy. At my four week checkup, the doctors said "Wait six weeks before you start running again, and maybe slowly ramp up to your regular workouts". Well, at the six week checkup, the doctors were delighted at how my wounds had healed (told you I was a werewolf), but there was no way I was ready to do my regular workouts again.
I have to say that that nice big spiral cut honey baked ham slice they'd taken out of my internal lower left quadrant still felt like a ham slice. A friend of mine in the medical field told me "Dude, don't kid yourself about the minimal invasive procedure with the laproscopy, they did major carpentry work inside you. I've seen the procedure and it's pretty brutal". Yeah, and that's how it felt: like they had beat the living shit out of me, just kicked me in the nads over and over.
The doctor himself admitted as much. "We moved a lot of stuff around. You did have a football-sized dead kidney in there. It was occupying half your abdomen".
(You may want to skip this paragraph as it contains intimate personal details). It's true, the swolled up bag of piss did a major constriction on my sigmoid colon and other organs down there. I was pooping out either watery stuff or strings of spaghetti at random pretty much every waking hour of the day towards the end there. And now? Friggin' Burmese pythons coming out of my hind end. Good solid, regular bowel movements. Oh yeah!
A student of mine who is into street fighting martial arts* gave me another clue about what happened. He confirmed that the kick-in-the-nads feeling can happen from a kidney punch or flat heeled kick to the kidney, what with the neural wiring in there. "But don't get the wrong idea, it's not so much the nerves per se as it is the neuromyofascial connections that have been upset."
Right, all the connective tissue, it's been abused and shoved around, and that portion of my extracellular matrix that contains my organs and surrounds my belly took a nasty beating. More on all this in a minute.
So, I tried working out last week. I did 50% of my normal workout, substituting vigorous turn on an elliptical machine for my running. But I did core workouts no problem. Medicine ball, free weights, pull ups, etc. with no problem and no guts shooting out all over the floor. I was sore - as expected - for three days, but then went back at it, and ramped it up to 90%. Threw in a kettle bell workout, kip rope, and the usual postural stretch routines, and it all felt pretty good. So there's that.
Thing is, I am re-evaluating how I am going to stay in shape in the future, and for awhile flirted with the idea of taking a parkour class. Someone suggested I hold off on that.
But here's the interesting thing. Through the usual serendipitous synchroncity that informs my readings and interactions, I've been exploring various aspects of the Natural Movement exercises. So, someone mentions Feldenkrais, and I say, isn't that funny that's about the third time people have talked about it in as many months. Then, I'm talking to martial arts guy, and he's going on and on about connective tissue, and I'm like, huh, I'm hearing about this too. And then, I get a book from the library by Chris McDougall (author of Born to Run), and about halfway in to this book Natural Born Heroes, and he starts talking about fascia.
So, I'm like, oh, okay, well when enough people tell you don't look so hot, maybe you are sick.
So, I'm researching an organized routine for that. I'm still gonna run, because that's what I do, and still gonna lift weights, because that's also what I do, but now I'm going to work on becoming an animal, because it would nice to be Tarzan again after that year of... nothing.