Quadrupedal Locomotion

So I got a set of walking poles, because I was sick and tired of my hip keeping me off the road; I love the gym but there is too much gorgeous air out there and it won’t last forever. (I mean that as a comment on approaching winter, not a statement about fossil fuel pollution, but both factors bear consideration.)

You can look up beaucoup videos online about how to use these things, but I just winged it.

Mile One: I have now adjusted the poles about 8 times. I think they are finally at the right height, which is a lot lower than I expected. They no longer skitter on the sidewalk and I have not impaled my foot once (close doesn’t count). I am ready for a set of pullups on the jungle gym providentially situated along my favorite route. Children look at me funny.

Mile Two: I am more out of breath than I have been in ages. Part of this is salting-in, analogous to the exhausting thrash of a tyro swimmer trying to stay afloat. I collapse against the nearest retaining wall, extract my cell phone and call to notify my Albino Ex, who complained the last time I spoke to him that it was getting harder to get a good workout. Even after a couple of minutes of fumbling with the phone, which kept wanting to send a text, I can barely get the words out. This is a good sign.

Mile Three: I think I have it. The support from the pole means my rehab hip, which reminds me daily how long I walked around with it half dislocated, doesn’t clock out in midstride and overload the muscles that weren’t injured. I have been longing to get back to the fine swiveling butt-swing of a long stride. Dogs move out of my way. My hands are going a little numb from overgripping the poles at first, but that will pass, now that the movement is travelling fluently up my arm. I am getting a salutary burn in the triceps. I have become a quadruped. Look out, cats.

Mile Four: Feck. Left gluteus minimus just clamped down on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve root. There is a hot wire running down the front of my thigh right to the ankle and it has a friend running to my groin. Over-enthusiasm. I never learn. Going up hills changes the gait, which helps a little, but I don’t like to imagine the faces I am making. I am going to be late for work.

Home: My first client, a lumbar spine sufferer, graciously consents to lie back and listen to the Gregorian chant on my stereo, while I hobble up the stairs and fly through the sprinkler, before dressing and starting his session ten minutes behind schedule. A runner, he knows all about self-destructive workout instincts.

I’m still breathing hard as I struggle into my work fugs.

This idea has legs. Not as many as the centipede, but I am onto something.


9 thoughts on “Quadrupedal Locomotion

    • No, this is my Albino Ex, still alive and twitching at an age of only fifty this year. I go through life dragging a comet trail of strange ex’s, including also the Transgender Ex, the Brit Ex and the Nazi Ex (which last has never been heard from since 1983 and with luck will remain in such obscurity).

      I’d give some serious money for a cell phone that would connect me with the late and ex. Just to text him pictures of the current household of cats.

  1. Whenever I see an elderly person (of a much greater eld than you or I) striding along with those things, I am happily reminded that age need not lead to an infirmity but rather to better weapons.

    • When you think about it, a young black man walking along with a stout stick would have everyone on the block panicking… but give the same stick to a little old lady (any ethnicity) and no one looks twice.

      Never fuck with old ladies.

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