Year 1, Week 28: Recovery Through Walking


It has largely been a recovery week, although a fairly easy one. While still somewhat painful, psychologically easier to deal with than the pre-operation discomfort, as I know I am on the healing track and do not have to worry about it getting worse. No major restrictions in terms of walking and mild stretches but no yoga or sports until later this week.

Some of you may recall that I bought a fitness tracker a few months ago (Fitbit). While I have always been reasonably active, I find that it does bring a further degree of mindfulness on the need to be active, particularly important during recovery.

Fitbit BadgesOne of my ‘mates’ at the Shouldice ‘camp’ was the champion walker – we almost never saw him sit down apart from meals – and his daughter had also bought him a Fitbit a month or so before his operation. We discussed the effect that it had on his level activity, given that he was clearly also a very active guy. He noted that it provided an extra push; rather than take the elevator up 5 floors to visit his mother, he would walk up the stairs, and a number of other examples. And even the ‘silly’ psychological tricks (e.g., messages you are close to your daily goal, badges for different levels of achievement) worked at the margin to make one more active. My experience is similar, kind of funny how sometimes the mind works, and how such automatically generated encouragement can actually be effective. I have been managing well-over the (default) goal of 10,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs daily, so things are going well.

As it was university reading week, good to have the kids home for part of the week and catch up with their news and plans.

sixth familyMy daughter gave me a book about the mafia The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto by Lee Lamothe and Adrian Humphreys. Funny to be reading this as the Charbonneau Commission into corruption in the construction industry in Quebec is taking place, with a number of suspected Mafia figures ‘testifying’ like ‘Mr. Sidewalk’ about wads of cash in stuffed in socks (you can’t make this up….). More detailed than I would normally want, but it does give a sense of just how painstaking police work has to be to figure out all the connections, relationships and money flows. More a book for the cognoscenti than the general reader but it is keeping my attention.

We did, of course, watch the season finale of Downton Abbey, and, like many, became too vested in the characters and were angry about the tragic ending. However, as Julian Fellowes explains here, the only way to deal with the end of actor’s contract, particularly for family members, is to kill them off. So first Sybil, then Matthew (doubt that this is real spoiler alert at this stage). A cruel business, creating fantasy worlds!

les misAs part of the pre-Oscar preparations in seeing most of the nominated movies, we saw Les Misérables the other day. While I liked the musical on the stage (some 25 years ago!), the screen adaptation was misérable. Not sure exactly what it was, perhaps the excessive close face-shots, the jiggly (and annoying) camera work), the lack of passion or spark in the actors, and, this may reflect changing tastes, the flatness of the music. A stage production allows one some distance, as some reviewers have noticed, this film version is in your face, and too much so (see NYT review here), with its final comments on director Tim Hooper (who also directed the wonderful The King’s Speech):

But his inability to leave any lily ungilded — to direct a scene without tilting or hurtling or throwing the camera around — is bludgeoning and deadly. By the grand finale, when tout le monde is waving the French tricolor in victory, you may instead be raising the white flag in exhausted defeat.

Looking forward to the annual shlock that is the Academy Awards tonight – always fun, even if I suspect I may disagree with some of the winners.


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