One of my tennis pals once described to me what she wears to bed: “I have an arm brace for my carpal tunnel, two booties that keep my feet flexed for my plantar fasciitis, and a special pillow between my legs for my back.” I can’t remember if she also used a mouth guard for TMJ, but she painted an entertaining picture of the armor her husband needed to overcome if they were ever to become intimate.
I chuckle at this image as I start my morning routine. I have a lot of time to recount conversations and anecdotes while I do the nine daily stretches prescribed by my physical therapist to ward off some recently developed hamstring issues, ankle pain, rotator cuff maladies and my own plantar fasciitis. After those stretches, I do a short, 12-minute yoga routine that was suggested to me by my chiropractor a few years ago when I complained of morning stiffness. I do another 10 minutes of weight work, so my muscles won’t atrophy and to avoid osteoporosis. Then I go out for a 2-3 mile walk to get my chi moving and also to keep my weight down.
When I return, I have a tall glass of warm water with fresh cut lime, which I’ve boiled then cooled, because an Ayurvedic healer once told me that it would be an especially beneficial morning drink for my Doshas. I mix a separate glass of boiled water (also cooled) with a small packet of Sinu-Cleanse, which I then pour into my Netti Pot and subsequently pour through my nostrils – a recommendation from my beloved Dr. K. to keep me off sinus medication.
After that I make myself oatmeal with warmed apples and cinnamon, which I eat every single morning (another Dosha thing) and then take the series of vitamins and supplements that ostensibly fortify my intestines, bladder and immune system, as well as lower my Real Age from 49 to probably, I don’t know, 46 or 47. Then I floss, brush, shower, embark on the complex hair care routine that keeps me curly, not frizzy, and apply the pricey dermatologist cream to the precancerous cells on my face and viola, I’m ready to start my day.
I’m embarrassed to tell you the exact amount of time spent on all this, but I will say that I don’t have time to make the beds and I regularly blow off my book group book all in the name of staving off decrepitude.
The last time I was with my chiropractor, I was complaining about my psoas muscle feeling weak when I walked. He started to suggest a daily stretch I could do and I cut him right off. “Please, just fix me," I begged him. "I don’t have any more time in the day.”