Well that was short lived

I recently posted about the positive outlook on possibly returning to the gym without my back hurting as much, but I have been disappointed. I did something for work that required me to stand on a hard floor for four hours straight, and my back started to die about halfway in. It was very frustrating. It was like the pain was telling me not to get too brave because it’s not going away any time soon. It felt a bit better later, so I decided to do  Body Combat class that evening, but just modifying the moves to protect by back from any more strain. That was Thursday night and my back hurt the whole weekend.

I kept thinking I need to go back to the gym. I went to the gym three times within a week and didn’t want to lose the work I put in by backing away from going. My back was hurting on Tuesday, but again, I bargained with myself, thinking I could just go and do my best while moving cautiously to protect my painful areas. My back hurt the whole time and it was very angry when I got home. I even had to ice it. Today is a special Valentine’s Day Body Combat class that I really want to attend, but I feel myself getting pushed behind that fear of pain wall that is stopping me from going. It’s so annoying.

I’m not ready to go back to the physical therapist again. I have very little faith that they are actually even helpful. From my experience, all they seem to do is guess what’s wrong and use the least amount of their resources possible, and then have you do little stretches that don’t even work.

Day one of many?

After like two months of no gym, due to my back and stupid body hurting, I finally went to the gym! Yep, first time this year! I went almost a year with my back hurting almost every day, so I have been very reluctant to go to the gym even though it’s been feeling decent recently. Can I just enjoy being mostly painless for just a little while? Well I know I needed to return soon so I can get back to where I want to be. I started off today with a tiny bit of elliptical and a 30 minute Body Combat class. Lisa picked harder tracks to fill that 30 minutes, so it was a challenge. I feel so much heavier now. That extra weight sucks. But hopefully I can return to the gym painlessly to help lose some of the extra pounds. If I feel good tomorrow, I’ll go to the gym again!

Monks Cafe – Flemish Sour Ale

Although I only worked six hours yesterday, Friday, it was an annoying shift. I had a long week and frustrating things kept happening. I clocked out, jumped into my car, and headed straight home to be an antisocial recluse. But something told me to stop by the house to grab my book and head to Jack Rabbit Brewery and have one of those delicious Sour Habit beers.

It wasn’t open for another hour. Same with Yolo Brew. I decided to go to Nugget Market and seek a sour beer. I found this and gave it a shot.

It’s not bad. I couldn’t tell if it’s salty or sweet. It’s not as good as Sour Wench, but it’s much better than any beer that is not a sour beer! 😂

The House of Thunder – Dean Koontz

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Wow. Okay so this was my first Dean Koontz book. I know he’s popular. I have friends who are huge fans. When I did a thrift store book haul I was sure to include him as an author to try out, and I got this book. I kept thinking, “This may, or may not, be one of his better books.” I decided to get started on it the other night.

There might be kind of a spoiler here, so don’t read further.

There was definitely suspense! It started off setting a foundation for the story and then all these other little factors started coming into the picture. It played games with my mind. Is something wrong with Susan or are there evil deeds at play? I kept going back and forth with that for a long time and the suspense was building. Things started getting quite crazy and I had to know what was really happening.

When the truth was finally laid out, I was more shocked than satisfied. It was interesting that the truth was something I would have never, ever imagined. I was impressed by that. But it was also based around a topic I have little interest in, so for that reason, I didn’t find the ending satisfying. Compare it to, let’s say, a friend inviting you to a party and they’ve spent a lot of time hyping it up, and you’re really excited to go. But when you arrive, you find out it’s a football game party and you have zero interest in football. That’s how I felt. It’s the shock of the unexpected that I enjoyed, but not the theme of it. If that makes any sense.

I really liked that it was easy to read and I didn’t get lost in too much detail. I am looking forward to reading more of his books! After I finished it, I received recommendations from friends for other books of his to read! I’m excited!

A vegan food weekend

Every weekend is a vegan food weekend for me. Every day is a vegan food day. But I got to sample some new good this past weekend! Saturday was Sacramento VegFest! I got there a bit early and ended up getting too full to try everything. I didn’t even eat that much! Here are a few things I purchased…

Cashew Sauce by Beyond Better

Pan Dulce by The Jaguar Baker

Ice Cream by Conscious Creamery

Vegan Carrot Chili Dawg with heirloom beans by Chili Smith Family Foods

I do want to point out the amazing shopping bag I brought with me!

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I purchased that bag in Portland years ago and use it on special occasion.

I was finished with the VegFest and almost home by noon. I stopped to get one of those nice sour beers on the way home and took a sweet little foodcoma nap before enjoying a nice lazy day, complete with some video game playing. I’m revisiting The Legend of Dragoon. I haven’t played that game since not long after it was released!

My goal on Sunday was to go to Oblivion Comics & Coffee because they were having vegan cannoli by Love + Flour Bakery. It would be my first time trying it, and they had three different flavors, so I needed one of each!

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The one with pistachio was my favorite! I ate them with some coffee and was pretty happy about it. My friend Mischa and I went back to that brewery so I could have another sour beer. She’s going to move back to Sacramento soon, so I am sure there will be plenty more brewery visits and food adventures!

 

 

That back pain

I never wrote about that visit to the physical therapist.

I complained about my back pain, arthritis, and getting out of shape when I posted about the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race I did. I was expressing how disappointed I was and that they were the weakest races I have ran ever since I started racing in 2014. All because I slowly just stopped going to the gym due to the pain I experience. The lower back pain would discourage me. I would go to Body Combat class with plans to “take it easy”, but I’d still grumble in pain and stretch my back in between each track. It felt disheartening to try doing what I used to do and it would just hurt. Body Pump class was out of the question. It just made my lower back ache. Of course I would go on the elliptical, but it’s just not that fun. I’d like to do all my fun things again.

I’ve gained all my weight back that I had before my fitness journey. My knees bother me. My back started hurting to the point where I got sick of it and went to see a physical therapist. He took a look at me and had me move around a bit, says I have an anterior pelvic tilt and I need to do certain stretches every day to correct it. He said having a desk job for 12 years is a likely cause of the pelvic tilt.

I am wondering if doing squats and dead lifts, without any awareness of the anterior pelvic tilt, is partially what caused the lower back pain. I read that it would make the pelvic tilt worse if you keep arch in your lower back. Maybe that’s what I was doing to aggravate my lower back, causing the arthritis problem. When I am able to do weights again, maybe I should start off with Body Pump class, low weights, and just test out my form to protect my lower back and avoid anterior pelvic tilt.

I am afraid to jinx myself by saying anything, but that particular back pain hasn’t been affecting me for a couple weeks. I had the back pain for almost a year, so of course I am terrified of going to the gym and ending up in pain again. But I NEED to go to the gym. I want my fitness back again. Maybe all I need to do is take baby steps and have a lot of patience.

Bring me Back – B.A. Paris

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This is going to have spoilers.

This is both the third book released by B.A. Paris and I’ve now read all three. I finished this very quickly, it took me a couple evenings. I really grew to long for books by this author, especially after the first two. It has the psychological thriller thing going that keeps me highly interested, but there were a couple things that threw me off. This is where the spoilers come in.

The first thing is the repeated mention of the Russian dolls. It got to a point where I felt they were mentioned on every page or every paragraph. They got thrown into the mix too much.

The other thing that threw me off is the twist at the end. The girl the main character falls in love with goes missing, ten years later he meets her older sister, falls in love because he misses the younger sister. He starts getting hints that the younger may still be alive and he gets obsessed with seeing her again, so a bunch of psychological drama happens. The big reveal turns out to be that the older sister he ended up with was actually the younger sister all along. Apparently, after she disappeared, she saw her older sister killed and was mentally affected to where she took on her looks and personality. She sought out the main character and approached him as her sister and he had no idea. It was like both sisters were living in one mind and the younger sisters mind started resurfacing, wanting to reclaim him and take him from the older sister. Like a multiple personality disorder.

The concept is interesting and I enjoyed it in that way, but I feel it is so far fetched to imagine that the main character would still mistake her for being her sister, even though a decade, hair color, style, etc. had changed. Sure, someone can really change their looks, but you also notice very odd little features about the people you love, whether it be moles or shape of their toes. And no plastic surgery was mentioned in the book. So I just find it far fetched to live with someone two years and not be able to somehow recognize them after ten years, even if they purposely changed their looks. I don’t know.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?