I ran cross-country in high school, and when I’d cross the finish line, I’d be in “aerobic distress,” i.e. close to barfing. The same thing with each major book. By the time it’s sent to the printers, I’m wasted. This time, when the tiny homes book was done (almost 2 months ago), and I should have been kicking back, tiredness and stress caused a couple of wild and crazy incidents. I stepped wrongly off a step ladder in the greenhouse and tore a muscle in my shoulder (rotator cuff). I still had to go to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then to Hong Kong to oversee printing, so couldn’t do proper rehab work. Lugging luggage etc.
Then, finally home, the last night of the San Francisco Green Festival, I got on my skateboard heading back to my truck, with a loaded backpack (yes, yes) , was skating along in the darkened streets and my cell phone rang. Well, I’m rollin’, guess I’ll just answer it, and bang! I was on the ground, hit head on pavement. Happened so fast. No helmet. I know, I know. It’s not that I’m immature and stupid, it’s just that sometimes I’m immature and stupid. Well I was fortunate. I had a 2-week long black eye and week-long lump, but being hard-headed helped here. Lucky.
Now I’m embarking on a program to heal the shoulder without surgery if possible. Physical therapy, acupuncture, strengthening exercises. I want this body part back! Such a drag — can’t paddle, dig clams, do much of any upper-body stuff. So many parts have to work to lead an active life. All the joints, tendons, muscles, not to mention the organs, all necessary components of what Dr. Henry Bieler called “the magnificent human body.” All things we take for granted until the well runs dry.
I’m missin’ that water.