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Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Homemade Get Well cards from the boys - my offline reading for the week.

Since coming home on Monday, I've been pretty much confined to my bed and the couch with a bit of hopping around on crutches in between. To be honest, my ass hurts from sitting and lying around so much over the past couple of days. After sleeping the better part of Monday and Tuesday, OK and Wednesday, I'm starting to feel more like myself and the pain in my knee has subsided substantially. Thank the Lord.

All the lying around has left me with a lot of time to read. For once, I feel like I actually have a handle on my Google Reader and that it's not exploding in all directions. Since my life hasn't exactly been bells and whistles, I wanted to share some of the amazing articles and blog posts that I've read this week, much in the vein of weekly round-ups by Kristin at What She Said, Ginger at Ramble Ramble, Katy at Katy Widrick, and Christine and Caitlin at Oatmeal in my Bowl which I love to read.

That's a long list! Sorry but I've been doing a lot of reading.
What are some of your favorite reads of the week? Share with me!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Manhattan - 6:30am from the N train over the Manhattan Bridge

It is 5:30am on Monday and my alarm is ringing. I really really do not want to wake up. I stayed up way too late the night before paying bills and trying to tie up some loose ends. I pull myself out of bed and try to get dressed as quietly as possible. 5:30am is a dangerous time in our house. It's just late enough that if the boys wake up, there's a good chance that they won't go back to sleep. But, it's too early for them to be awake for the day without them turning into a cranky mess. I leave the house and get on the subway to make the trip into Manhattan and to Roosevelt Hospital.

I arrive at 7am as instructed. When my name is called, I walk to the Nurse's Station in the pre-op and recovery area and sit down with Robin to fill out a mountain of paperwork. As other patients move on to the next phase of the process, I wait as Robin transcribes my gazillion allergies onto at least five different forms and then into the computer system. There's got to be a more efficient way.

Finally, I change into a lavender paper gown. It's actually a bit thicker and more substantial than the typical hospital gown which I'm thankful for because it's chilly in the hospital. I am escorted to the next area where I meet the Anesthesiologist. My doctor arrives and runs through the procedure with me and what to expect when I wake up. I sign more consent and release forms.

I'm wheeled in the gurney outside of the OR. I jump off and walk to the operating table and lie down. I place my arms out to the side while they attach electrodes and monitors to me. The Anesthesiologist says, "I'm just going to give you something to start relaxing you..."

Next thing I know, I'm waking up after surgery. I hear the nurses and doctors talking and my eyes float open and then close. When I open my eyes next, I'm in the recovery room and Ed's sitting next to me. My knee is wrapped in a straight-leg brace. After an hour or two, I'm cleared to go home.

The surgery went well. I have a reconstructed ACL in my right knee. I also had a pretty big tear in my meniscus so they repaired that as well. Otherwise, my doctor said that the rest of my knee joint look great. Phew.

Since coming home, I've been struggling to find a comfortable position. I really really just want to bend my knee. Just once? While I'm allowed to take the brace off while I'm awake and in bed, my leg just feels ridiculously hyperextended or something. Since I can't move my knee, my right hip is sore and stiff. The pain is OK - a general, dull throbbing pain that is mostly manageable but sometimes it really hurts.

I will be in a brace for 4 weeks and should be able to start physical therapy next week. Now, it's all about recovery. I know that it's going to be a long and slow process. I know that it's going to hurt. I'm not too excited about that last part but know that in the long run, this was the right decision for me. I'm also trying to remind myself that this is recovery and that I need to take it easy and to ask for help which isn't the easiest thing for me to do.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Bye Bye ACL. It's been nice knowing you.

Well ACL #2, we've had a good 15 year run together. You stepped in when ACL #1 gave way on the ski slopes in the Alps. You restored me to full mobility and activity within a few short months and I felt as good as new. We've completed an Olympic distance triathlon and run three marathons together, two half marathons and countless shorter races as well as chased after two little boys. You stuck by me as I learned to cross-country and telemark ski and to surf.

But, now it's come time to part ways. Today, you will be replaced by ACL #3. I can only hope that it will be as good to me as you have been. To be fair, I actually hope that it is better than you because I really don't want to have to go through this again. I'm not sure I could handle a 4th ACL in my life. So, if you get a chance in the OR, can you please just have a little chat with ACL #3? I'd appreciate it.

Also, to remember today and one of the main reasons why I am having surgery, I'm linking up one of my favorite posts of all time - riding my first wave on a surfboard - to celebrate Alison's and Ado's 1st Blogoversary Blog Bash! Come check it out and you can join in too!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Preparing for Surgery

Happy feet at the gym this morning. Loving my bright pink Sauconys!!

Surgery is scheduled for Monday - four days away. In some ways, I wish that the next four days will fly by but at the same time, I wish that they will pass by slow as molasses. I want the days to move quickly because I want to get this thing over and done with and I want to start moving on the road to recovery. I want the days to be drawn out because I know that recovery will be a long and slow process and I want to try to pack in as much as I can between now and then - seeing friends, taking walks, playing with the kiddos, and working out. I'm kind of petrified of the thought of being limited in my mobility.

Over the past two weeks, I've been focusing on staying active and strengthening my legs. I figure that the stronger my legs are going into surgery, the faster recovery will be, right? I've been working out 4-5 times a week. I've been able to hit my favorite spin class a few times, focusing on higher resistance vs. higher RPM, and hop on the elliptical machine without aggravating my knee. As for legs, I've been doing a variety of leg exercises, many I learned from my little project with FITNESS Magazine, but also combining other moves that I know and that I love such as Bulgarian Split Squats on a ball (probably one of my all-time favorites), Goblet Squats, Single-Leg Deadlifts, Bridges, Hamstring Curls, Leg Lifts, and Single-Leg Squats on a step. I've been focusing on strengthening the muscle on the front inside of my thigh to improve the stabilization of my knee. At least that's what I remember from physical therapy the last time around.

The best part of my week so far was that I made it to TRX on Monday and it felt great. I love TRX because it forces you to be super aware of your body. It force you to recruit a lot of different muscles to perform the moves, especially your core. While you can fake it to a certain extent when you lift weights at the gym, you can't when you do TRX. My instructor knew of my injury but I was actually surprised that I was able to do the entire workout without my knee feeling funny. Even the pistol squats and curtsy squats.

I was talking to my son Jasper the other day about my surgery and the fact that Mommy will be on the couch a lot afterwards. He was most concerned about the crutches and wanted to know every last detail - how you use them and if I'd have to use them all the time, even when I sleep at night. While I reassured him that no, I don't have to sleep with my crutches, he asked what would happen if I was in bed and I had to get up but couldn't reach my crutches. I told him that I would call him or Daddy. "What if we don't hear you Mommy??" he asked. "Well, then I'll just have to push Daddy out of bed." I have never heard him laugh louder or longer.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daydreaming on Pinterest

I don't know about you but I've been daydreaming like crazy lately. With the weather warming up or rather, the continued mild weather from the winter, I've been daydreaming about travel, sandy beaches and breaking waves. A friend posted this morning that the sea temperature in NYC was in the 40s. Brrr!! Too cold to actually get in so I've been thinking about Medewi in Bali...


And, of course, Playa Guiones in Costa Rica.

At times like these, I've been turning to Pinterest - a virtual pinboard that allows you to "pin" images that you find on the Internet. I know, I know. Everyone is writing about either how Pinterest is social media's newest darling or how terrible it is. While I agree that there are several issues that the company needs to address around intellectual property, terms of use and the like, I have found that it's a great tool.

I'm a visual person and I like being able to gather images and other things and organize them in one place. Seriously, I am known to have 20+ tabs open in my browser or else a ridiculous running text file with links to articles, items, clothing, images - you name it - that I wanted to remember and revisit. Of course, that text file would be replaced by another and sit on my computer desktop only to be forgotten. Pinterest lets me keep track of them in one place. And I get to find other cool things based on what other people are pinning.

My Surf pinboard is by far my favorite. It reminds me of being back in high school when I would rip out pages from Surfer and Surfing Magazine and tape them to my bedroom walls. You can find my Pinterest boards here.

What about you? Do you use Pinterest? What are you daydreaming about lately? What's on your travel or surf bucket list?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Scenes From My Weekend - Friends

Detail from the Patti Cadby Birch Court, constructed by craftsmen from Fez and is based on Moroccan late medieval design.

Making zucchini muffins

Over the weekend, one of my best friends came to visit. Erin and I have known each other since we were 15 years old. We spent the better part of Saturday afternoon wandering around the Islamic Art Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which reopened in November 2011 after 8 years of renovation, and the Asian Art Wing. Sunday morning was spent in DUMBO playing with the kids, throwing rocks into the river and riding the carousel. Sunday night, Erin and I met some other friends for dinner in Manhattan to celebrate a birthday and to see The Head & The Heart, a pretty cool band from Seattle that's kind of Americana and kind of not, but a whole lot of great music. All in all, it was a weekend filled with much needed time with friends.

I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately and how those relationships are sustained and maintained even after you move away and/or apart and are not a constant in each other's lives. With some people, it's a struggle but with others it comes so naturally and easily. While Erin and I don't talk or see each other all the time, we have consistently been in each other's lives since the day we met. When we do see each other or talk, we are able to pick up where we left off. There is a level of comfort and ease that I've come to value so much. There's no need for explanations. Through all the personal and life changes that we each have experienced over the last 20 years, it hasn't changed our relationship. For that, I am forever thankful.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

So You Want to Learn to Surf - What Do You Wear??

Surf bikini from Desi's Bikini Boutique - a Costa Rican designer. It's a reversible suit but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear the animal print side!

{Note: I anticipate that this will be one of many posts in which I'm ignoring the fact that I'm having knee surgery soon and pretending that surf season and other fitness adventures are just around the corner for me.}

You've made the brilliant decision to learn to surf. Whether you have decided to take one lesson while on vacation in Hawaii, California, Costa Rica or another warm water locale or to spend a full week at a surf camp like I did, your next question undoubtably is, "What in the world do I wear?" OK, that was my first question.

If you are headed to tropical waters, you don't need much. For women, you need a bikini/swimsuit, a rash guard and possibly a pair of board short, depending on what you're comfortable with. For men, you need a pair of board shorts and a rash guard. While I used to think that rash guards were silly, they are pretty important, especially if you are a beginner surfer. Not only does a rash guard protect you from the sun, but it protects your stomach and torso from chafing as you paddle and move up and down on the board.

I feel like it's easier for men to find a pair of board shorts. There are lot of brands out there - Quiksilver, O'Neill, Billabong, Rusty, Volcom, etc. and really, they're board shorts. However, you don't want to buy a pair of bulky swim trunks that are going to chafe and/or ride up on you when you're out in the water.

For women, it's a little more complicated. I don't know about you but I've never purchased a functional swimsuit, except for the Speedos I had to wear for swim practice. For my first trip to Surf Simply, I didn't really think about what I would need from my swimsuit. I knew that I wanted it to be cute, fit well and not fall off while I was in the water. I bought a bikini top and bottom from Athleta. I mean, they show women surfing in Athleta swimsuits in their catalog so that must mean that their bikinis were good for surfing, right? I wasn't sure where else to look.

While my bikini served me well on my surf trip, I did learn that the bottoms have to fit properly i.e. don't buy it a size bigger because it's more comfortable which is what I tend to do! You want your swimsuit to stay put and not move around when you are paddling, turtle rolling, or trying to catch a wave.

Since then, I've purchased two surf bikinis that I love. One from Desi's Bikini Boutique, which is made by a Costa Rican designer, and one from Calavera Swimwear which is based in Newport Beach, CA. I love that these swimsuits are made specifically with surfing in mind and therefore meant to stay put!

Surf bikini from Calavera Swimwear - Wicked line, Graffiti pattern and Pure bottom.

Both suits are made from material that does stretch not out in the water and both are highly adjustable. As you can see from the picture above, instead of a typical halter or open back top, the straps cross in the back, creating a much more secure fit. You can cinch the straps down pretty tightly (which is what you want to do) and then tie it in the back. Again, the material is such that the tie doesn't loosen in the water. It stays put. The Calavera suit actually crosses around the bottom of your chest twice before you tie it off, again creating a more secure fit. I actually prefer the cross-back style. I find that when I wear a halter top for too long, my neck starts to hurt, especially surfing when I have to keep my head and chest up to paddle.

The bottoms are also adjustable. The Desi suit has a single tie on the side of the suit that you can tighten. The Calavera suit has ties on both sides so that you can adjust the fit to your body and again, make sure that it's tied on snuggly.

Lastly, I have a pair of Roxy board shorts that I love. I didn't want a pair of long board shorts because I thought that they would annoy me in the water with all the fabric. I found these short shorts last year and they provide an extra level of comfort and security when I'm in the water. I don't always wear them but I like having the option.

What do you wear when you surf or play in the ocean? 

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No Turning Back - Injury Update

Last week, I went to see my doctor again. It had been four weeks since I injured my knee and things were not improving. I take that back. I could walk without limping so that was an improvement, but my knee still wasn't normal. It was still wonky and unstable if I changed direction too quickly. You know those vitamin bottles that have a child-proof top and clicks when you turn it? Yeah, that's how my knee feels.

When I walked into my doctor's office, he turned to me and said, "You know that this means that we're talking surgery, right?" I let out a big sigh and nodded in agreement. At first, I thought that he meant he was just going to scope my knee to clean up my meniscus and scar tissue. Wishful thinking. He was going to do a revision of the ACL reconstruction that I had about 15 years ago. Apparently, while my ACL was still in tact (hence zero swelling after I injured it), it had become too loose and wasn't doing its job anymore. So, he was going to snip my ACL and replace it with a new one.

Over the past week, I have been in denial about the whole thing. While I knew that there was a good possibility that I would need to have surgery again, I didn't think that it would be another reconstruction, complete with its attendant recovery period. After my first knee surgery, I was not allowed to put any weight on my knee for 3 weeks. It was scary and frustrating to watch all the muscles in my right leg shrink and atrophy. Thankfully, physical therapy wasn't too bad and I regained my range of motion fairly quickly but the journey back to full strength and activity levels took some time.

But I'm kind of scared this time. I'm not 21 this time. I'm in my mid-30s and I know that recovery is going to be different. I know that I'm still young and active, but things just move slower these days. Muscle soreness lingers a day or so longer than it used to and a few days off from working out feels like a month. I'm worried about gaining weight and backsliding in my fitness. I'm frustrated because this wasn't supposed to happen again, especially because I had just returned to running and my legs felt stronger than ever. I also have two young active boys who may not completely understand why Mommy can't move around much. But if I want to keep doing these things, surgery makes the most sense for me.

After we decided on the surgery, I asked my doctor to tell me exactly what to expect in terms of rehab and recovery. I will be in a brace for two weeks. While I can put weight on my leg (hooray for the small things!), I will likely be hanging out at home and not doing much of anything. Then, it will be a 4-6 month recovery period and 9-12 months before I can train for anything seriously. 9 to 12 months. Those words echoed in my head and all I could managed to say was, "DUDE! That's a long time!"

I'm scheduled for surgery on March 26. I have roughly a week and a half to be as active as I can, strengthen my legs and have fun.

{This post is linked up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say}

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

5 Ways Not to Bake a Birthday Cake

1) Do not agree to bake a cake that requires a 12 inch cake pan or any other size cake pan that you do not personally own.

2) Do not drop a layer of the cake on the floor as you transfer it from the oven to the counter. Do not try to pick up said layer of cake from the floor when it is still piping hot.

3) Do not remove rock hard buttercream frosting from the refrigerator two hours before you are expected to leave the house and expect it to soften so that you can assemble, frost and decorate the cake in time.

4) Do not agree to decorate the cake with roses, flowers and hearts as requested by your child when you have never decorated a cake before in your life.

5) Do not think that you have to make everything from scratch yourself. There's nothing wrong with a cake form Costco or the local bakery.

{Lessons learned over the weekend}

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Granola Junkie

I used to be a cereal addict. I would eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast every morning. About six months ago, I decided that it was time to shake up my breakfast routine. I started with plain yogurt with berries, granola and a bit of honey or agave nectar. I haven't turned back. Sorry cereal.

It never entered my mind to try to make my own granola. It seemed too complicated and involved. But, a few months ago, I came across a recipe for olive oil and maple granola on Food52. It's adapted from Early Bird Foods' best-selling Farmhand's Choice Granola. Early Bird is a small batch food producer located right here in Brooklyn.

The recipe is deceptively simple - a handful of ingredients mixed together. But that's also the beauty of it. I omitted the pecans since I'm allergic to nuts and I'm sure that you could add some of your favorite ingredients. After about 45 minutes, I opened the oven door to find oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes toasted golden brown. The aroma was sweet with a hint of salty. Once I tried it, I could not stop eating it. Seriously, Ed had to hide it from me.

One thing to note - after the granola is finished baking, don't let it sit around on the baking tray for too long, which is what I did. You want to transfer it to an air-tight container before the maple syrup and brown sugar congeals. Once it does, it's very hard to loosen the granola from the tray. If that does happen, just put the tray back in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up. Then you should be able to remove the granola easily.

If you haven't checked out Food52 before, you should. It's a great site founded by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. It's a "place where, together, we create cookbooks, take on food projects, debate food news, help others with our real-time food Q&A -- the Food52 Hotline -- and band together to support local food producers."


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Five Years Old

Dear Jasper,

It's hard to believe that five years ago today, you made your entrance into this world albeit three weeks early. You surprised Daddy and me. We definitely weren't prepared for an early arrival. It was a good thing that Yee-Ma (my sister) was in town so that she could go to Buy Buy Baby for us and stock up on everything we needed. Here you are on your birthday back in 2007. Your cheeks were the biggest, droopiest things ever.

You've grown up so much in five years! It's hard to believe that you're going to start Kindergarten in the fall. You are officially a kid.

As you enter the world of kid-dom, here are some fun things about you:

1. You are one of the sweetest and most compassionate kids. You are always concerned about your friends and their feelings. You love rainbows and hearts and butterflies. At an age when kids are starting to separate more and more from their parents, all you want to do is cuddle with us on the couch.

2. You are a great big brother and Everett is very lucky. You loved him unconditionally from the day we brought him home. You take care of him and try to teach him all about the world, even though Everett can sometime knock down your elaborate buildings or ruin your games.

3. It amazes me that you can read by yourself, like really read. And do simple math. What?

4. You are constantly planning - birthday parties, trips and vacations, making lists. One of your favorite things to do is make your calendar at the beginning of each month with Daddy. The two of you sit on the couch and plot out all of your plans and activities for the next month. Then, you print it out and hang it on the refrigerator next to your school calendar.

5. You love maps and know the NYC subway system better than anyone. Whenever someone is in need of subway directions - adult or child - they ask you.

6. You have an uncanny ability to draw the on- and off-ramps of the New Jersey Turnpike.

7. You've progressed from your obsession with trains and subways to planes. In fact, you can spot a plane up in the sky and tell what airline it is from its tail. I have no idea how you can see an object that far away that clearly but you do. Of course you have your favorite airlines which currently are JetBlue and Delta. JetBlue I understand but Delta?

8. You are a little sponge, soaking up any and all information from the world around you. You love school. It's your favorite place to be.

9. You love your Bunny - a tattered old stuffed animal bunny modeled after the Goodnight Moon bunny. You have loved this poor thing to pieces and show no signs of giving him up. I love catching in deep conversation with Bunny.

10. I think that you are the only 5 year old I know that still takes regular afternoon naps. I'm not complaining.

Happy 5th Birthday Jasper!


{This post is linked up with Wordful Wednesday}


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scenes from My Weekend - Aerial View

Flying over San Francisco. View of the Bay Bridge and you can just make out the Golden Gate Bridge in the upper portion of the picture.

Flying over the Sierra Nevadas. Bye Bye Lake Tahoe.

Flying into New York City with a view of Manhattan. That big rectangular square? Central Park.

Flying over the Rockaways as we make our way to JFK airport. 
This weekend, we returned home to Brooklyn from our two week vacation in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. While we were on the plane, Ed kept tapping my shoulder from the row behind me to ask for my phone so that he could take pictures out the window. When we travel with the boys on planes, since rarely can the four of us sit together, we usually get two seats together in one row and two seats together in the row behind. One of us usually sits with our younger son E in the back row since he's only two and a half and still kicks the seat in front of him. This way, he's kicking his brother's seat and not a stranger's seat. I was pretty amazed when I looked at the pictures that Ed took. It was an incredibly clear day. I particularly like the picture of the Rockaways. You can see the waves breaking along the beach.

After two weeks away from home, I'm super happy to be home. We spent all of Sunday unpacking. doing laundry and grocery shopping. The boys were so happy to be reunited with their toys.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2012

After Kelly Slater won his 11th World Title in November and the final surf contest of 2011 at Pipe Masters ended in December, the Men's ASP World Tour took a few months off. Last week, the surfers were back, kicking off the 2012 season with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast of Australia.

It's a little ridiculous how excited I was for the tour to start up again. As I've said before, I love watching sports. All kinds of sports. Surf contests have filled a gap for me that I didn't even know I had and it's helped me appreciate the sport of surfing more. Yes, it's awe inspiring to see the beautiful acrobatics, aerials and swooping turns that surfers can carve through the water. However, surf contests combine the athletic and graceful with a mental and strategic game that I think take these pros beyond the image of just being laid back surfer dudes.

In the Finals on Saturday, Australian Taj Burrow faced Brazilian Adriano de Souza. Despite the fact that the conditions were mediocre, Adriano was all over the waves during the heat, seeming to feed off the energy of the large Brazilian contingent on the beach. Right away, he started off the heat with a 8.00 ride, landing a big reverse air. Taj, on the other hand, had a slow start. It was almost ten minutes into the heat before Taj rode his first wave, a low scoring 4.60. It seemed like he wasn't going to be able to pull one out from under Adriano like he did last year. Then, Taj caught the best wave of the heat and scored a 9.43. He followed that up with another solid score of 6.43. In the final minutes of the heat, Adriano needed a score of 7.87 to overtake the lead. It came down to Adriano's last wave and it was a good one. As Taj waited on the beach and Adriano waited on the back of a jet ski, the winner was announced. Taj won with a two wave total of 15.86 to de Souza's 15.60.

You can watch a video of the final here and highlights from the event below.

The Women's ASP Tour also kicked off at Snapper Rocks with the Roxy Pro Gold Coast. Steph Gilmore won the event against Laura Enever.

The World Tour heads next to Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia from April 3-14.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Apology to My Back and Shoulder

Dear Shoulders and Back,

I'm sorry. I haven't been treating you very well. You've been abused by all those years studying hunched over books followed by years of sitting in front of a computer. You've been trying to tell me to take better care of you. You started with my posture, shoulders rolling inwards and forward while shoulder blades started drifting farther and farther apart. Then, you started developing muscle imbalances. Some muscles became over-used and tight while others became under-stretched and shortened. Finally, you threw my alignment off. The muscles in my middle back and between my shoulder blades, neglected from working all day at a computer, started to lose their mobility.  Shoulders - it became harder and harder to pull you down and away from my ears and stand tall. 

I really started to notice my neglect when I started surfing. It was hard to paddle on a surfboard. I couldn't fully lift up my chest from the board to look up and see where I was going. It was also hard to breathe. Then, when a good looking wave presented itself, popping up to ride it was a challenge because my chest wasn't open. 

I thought all that I had to do was strengthen your surrounding muscles and everything would be OK. But that didn't work, huh? It just made my already dominant chest and front shoulder muscles even more tight. I didn't realize that I needed to improve your flexibility and mobility first, especially along the mid-back. I needed to be able to stabilize and control the movement of my shoulder blades before I could build up your strength. With greater mobility around the mid-back, Shoulders, you would start falling back and away from my ears and it would be easier to maintain proper alignment and increase your range of motion.

So, I promise to treat you both better. I promise to become more aware of my posture so that I can counteract these muscular imbalances. I promise to:
  • Stretch my chest muscles, for example, standing in a door frame with my arms out to either side and elbow bent up at a 90 degree angle and leaning forward into the door frame.
  • Use my foam roller to gain mobility in my middle back by doing passive foam roller stretches (lying down on a foam roller in a vertical position placed at the base of my spine) as well as actively roll out my back (with the foam roller in a horizontal position just above my belly button and rolling back and forth along my spine). 
  • Do scapula squeezes, pulling my shoulders back and down while squeezing my shoulder blades together and holding for a few seconds 20 times, three times a day.

Let's work together to relax, retrain and lengthen your muscles. We already had one falling out - literally you fell out of your socket - so let's stay strong and healthy so that we can surf, swim and do lots of other things together for a long long time to come, okay? 

love you

{Here are two great articles on Surfline, one keeping shoulders strong and injury free and one on paddle power advice from some of the world's best.}

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