For days, weeks, months, YEARS, Gilda has been hounding me to exercise, to stretch, so my lower back would not hurt. Naturally, I resisted, for what would any marriage be if a husband submitted without a fight to his wife's entreaties. I finally won a round in this continuous battle of what I say is a bulging disc but Gilda says is merely weak muscles, when Gilda agreed to buy a new bed. The Sleep Number mattress, indeed, has been much better for my back pain than the Tempur-Pedic, but I retained some residual pain. So, Friday night, as Gilda slept next to me, I downloaded three videos of recommended stretching exercises.
I'm nothing if not lazy when it comes to exercise, so the WebMD video I chose to start with had the added bonus of permitting me to stretch without leaving the comfort of my bed. As Gilda showered Saturday morning I started the first of the five stretching routines. Whatd’ya know? My back felt better, so much so that even an afternoon four mile walk across the Bridge over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie didn't bother it.
The real test would be during sleep Saturday night and then pitching a softball game Sunday morning. I woke up 15 minutes early, slid softly into Ellie's old bedroom, lay down on the relocated Tempur-Pedic and ran through the routines. I had a twinge of pain on the ball field, but nothing to complain about. I pitched nine innings; had four solid hits in five at bats. We won.
Moral of the story: Looks like stretching exercise works. It's going to be real hard admitting this to Gilda. Even harder keeping up the regimen every day. Anyway, for those wondering which exercises worked for me, here's a link to the video: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/five-back-pain-stretches
Car Update: Like any new car, the Ford C-Max is prone to recalls. First, the tail lift gate needed refinement. Sometimes, when you waved your foot under the back carriage of the car, the lift gate would unlock but not automatically rise. A simple correction.
Then, we got two notices on the same day about a week ago. Ford needed to add more interior head protection in case of an accident. I’m cool with that.
The other notice was a real shocker. Right now, for the first 6,000 miles, our hybrid car is getting a little over 43 miles per gallon vs. an EPA/DOT rating of 47. Gilda gets better mileage when she’s driving to and from work. When I drive on weekends, I get lower mileage as I’m usually on the highway exceeding 65 mph and the C-Max switches from battery to gas engine at speeds exceeding 62 mph. But Ford told us in that second notice that, free of charge, it will recalibrate the powertrain control module to operate electrically up to 85 mph! Better gas mileage, here we come.
I Plead Youthful Ignorance: While transferring VHS family videos to DVDs, I came across some film of my parents and their three children at the beach. But what's that on my head? Looks like a blue baseball hat with a capital B. A Brooklyn Dodgers cap! Sacré bleu! All I can say to my NY Yankees friends is that I appear to be about four-years-old at the time and was clearly under the influence of my eight-year-old brother. By the time I was 7 it looks like I was wearing a Yankees cap at a school outing. Phew.
The old family films also showed I disdained water from an early age. Some film of a family vacation at Takanassee, a hotel in Fleishmanns, NY, where we’d spend several weeks each summer before we were sent off to sleepaway camp when I was seven, shows me resisting my mother’s urging to get into the pool. The video shows her dragging me into the water, me holding her tightly once we are in the pool. Other footage at what I believe was Rockaway Beach has me clinging to the neck of a family friend who thought he could persuade me to test the waters on my own.
My friend Ken still thinks he can teach me to swim. Who am I to disagree with him? But as sportscaster Warner Wolf used to say when he was on television, “Let’s go to the videotape” to see the truth of the matter.