Me, Myself, My Legs, and I
First, yes, those are my glorious ‘gams’, replete with stubble I grew myself, and a few creases from the bed socks I wore overnight.
Second, let me just acknowledge my friends who are missing one or both their legs and those who have limited or no motor function in one or both their legs. I know I’m lucky to be able to write about this from a position of full-functioning privilege.
That said, I’ve never been especially attached to my legs.
I mean, obviously, I’m ATTACHED to my legs, but there’s fuck-all about them to write home about, even if I’m about to dedicate a whole journal entry to the gobs of flesh and bone south of my butt.
The thing is, I don’t know why I don’t like them. They’re short and stubby, so that doesn’t endear them to anybody not into some sort of hobbit kink. They’re not gams or pins; they’re drumsticks. And by drumsticks I don’t mean the sticks of a drummer, I mean the uncooked and fresh-plucked drumsticks you see in the deli. They’re full of cellulite and flab I recently discovered are called ‘thingo wings’ – the bingo wings of the upper thighs.
Ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It doesn’t help that they’ve had a few strains and sprains and a hyperextension in the past.
I couldn’t seem to get involved in any kind of sport on land that didn’t in some way result in trauma.
Tangent: I should check if the pool has opened for the season.
Tangent the second: I hope my togs still fit!
My little legs always came in last in all the sports events that involved running for no good reason. I couldn’t jump high enough to get over the bar or long enough to even reach the sandpit. I really hated those damnable athletics days – aka the competitive humiliation of fat kids day.
But I always had good arms. And by good arms, I mean strong arms, not necessarily attractive arms. I suspect it’s because I spent most of my childhood in the water, but it translated to doing pretty well in events like shotput and if I could actually hit the ball with the bat, I was awesome at softball. I was even the team pitcher during my time in prison at boarding school.
These chubby stumps were never going to get me to the Olympics.
Fast forward a couple of decades – okay, a few decades – and I’m trying to embrace running as an activity I can do with my dog. We used to walk for hours every day. My FitBit stats suggested we averaged 13km, though I don’t know exactly how accurate those stats were. I mean, it felt like 13km, but I’m not sure exactly how accurate my tired old bones are, either.
The days of having hours to spend walking with my dog are long gone, however. These days I have to start work on time rather than work hours more convenient to my mental health and lifestyle. For all that working in academia was soul-destroying at times, it was nice to work to my own schedule. Now I work according to the courts.
Of course, this means that if I’m going to keep exercising Buddy – or get back to exercising him (and me!) regularly, we need to do it in about a quarter of the time we used to spend on the track. And that means getting these tubs of jelly moving at a consistent speed, despite all the protests of joints rusting with age and disuse.
I’ve had to start paying attention to the muscles buried under the blubber, and face the fact that I’ve never given them much – if any – thought! Beyond the necessity of walking, standing, sitting, and the usual tripping over cats and dog, they were essentially spared consideration until/unless there’s some injury to remind me they exist. Those few times I had a gym membership, leg days were basically ‘go easier on the arms’ days. I don’t know that I ever learned how to use any of the leg machines properly. And what machines I did use, it’s almost certain I somehow compensated with core/lower back muscles.
Lift with your legs? I never figured that out, either. I was always using my back/core because I just didn’t trust those stubby lil stumps! I always felt they’d fold like an accordion (and probably with the same awful cacophony) if they had to do more than carry the rest of me between A and B.
So, why am I grousing about my legs in a blog post? Hard to say, I started this post almost six months ago and I have no idea where I was going with it. (In case you forgot I have ADHD.) I can say that not a whole lot has changed, though. They’re still just that little too far removed from my brain to get much consideration unless they’re in some kind of pain. They do fit better in jeans lately, though!
Started in late Sptember 2021, finished in mid February 2022.