Two point seven miles per hour. Only a mile and a quarter overall distance and there was a break in the minute that I paused the timer for. Of course, that break was the motivation for the walk and a bit of luck if you ask me. Frosty boy is just over a mile walk from my house, there and back. Just long enough, I think to well balance an ice cream cone and still be able to consider the overall activity to be healthy. The break notwithstanding, a twenty two minute mile is my new personal record.
That was a good walk, the entire distance with my eyes on the horizon apart from a few glances here and there. I’m sure it looks silly, not so much like (the common misperception of) a drunken sailor anymore, rather when I’m trying to keep any kind of cadence, I have to fire my leg into the ground and it might appear like a toddler having a tantrum and trying to storm out of a room. Tall steps, intentionally so, knee high (well, as much as possible,) almost pausing at the apex for a moment before firing down at the pavement, full steam ahead.
Part of my left leg issues are caused by nerve damage in the joints of my ankle, knee, hip, and spine. The damage is irreversible I’m told- though I’ve certainly found ways to dramatically lesson it since they told me that! It is however, persistent. Also, even now or then, I must admit I have no idea what nerve damage feels like, nerve pain either for that matter. I only know what my pain and what my damage feels like. And oh, can I describe it. Read back, no need to repeat. How do I qualitatively or categorically say it’s nerve pain? Maybe this is what tissue damage or scar tissue feels like? Maybe this is what swollen joints and bruised bones feel like? Or a lasting symptom of hyperextension. Or..
Does it matter? I suppose if I was to study it, it does. And if I want to be able to predict it, I need to study it- commit my daily complaints to memory in the best way I can, write it down and read it back. Which parts of me are improving, which muscle groups feel stronger now? Which ones hurt more with various activities? Which ones are still numb and unchanging? The categories seem to matter in my mind like different horses in a race, which is my biggest problem? From where my leg was in the beginning (on the moon) it’s a million miles closer to me now, I’d even say it’s in the same room.
Yet, it still doesn’t feel the same or look the same anymore. Always puffy and slightly swollen from half way down my calf to the base of my toes, plus any additional swelling from any recent ankle activities. Most of the muscles do work, just not always and I don’t ever seem to have full control of them, meaning- imagine you had a car with a busted gas pedal– oh, even better, a perfect analogy: Imagine you’re flying a King Air airplane (a two engine aircraft commonly used for skydiving.)
On take off and landing, going straight down the runway is important. The rest of the time it doesn’t matter so much if you’re drifting left or right as you fly forward. On take off you’re also doing a full engine thrust and it has to be a balanced force between the left and right engines. The lever the pilot uses is split and controls both engines- usually moved together, an experienced pilot can easily offset them. During the take off roll compensation may be needed for any number of variables, such as wind and also the airplane’s inbuilt characteristics. It might just always pull left a little (better have your mechanic take a look at that,) or you might have one engine a bit stronger than the other. If something happens when the plane is moving on the ground the pilot should be at the ready to adjust the trust to keep it moving forward. If one engine drops to fifty percent, they’d better pull back on the other engine really quick.
For me, no airplanes or engines on my body.. yet I’ve got some kind of engine failure on my left leg. It’s in the linkage. It still goes when I say go, it just goes soft. What might make sense to some is that I’m having a near digital response to an analog input. The signal my brain is sending might tell my leg to go twenty percent speed, it doesn’t move, fifty percent of full effort and I can feel the muscles tense, eighty percent and it starts to move it’s weight and just a little more effort to move it into a position I want and bam- the effort tops the scale and my leg fires full effort.
It’s spastastic. Ever see that movie about the kid that breaks his arm then goes to a profession baseball game, catches a home run ball in the stands, then throws it- rockets it- back to home plate? In the movie he then becomes a pitcher in the pros (an upgrade from his little league team.) In any case, his arm (when cocked back) could hold still- but when he fired it, his muscles twitched like elastic under tension. That is how my left leg feels- it’s hard to pull my knee up, but once I do, watch out, I can slam it back down in a hurry- just not slowly with strength and control.
Okay, count the tangents and useless analogies. One, two.. just kidding. Had the interview today. That was nice probably the most typical corporate interview process you could imagine. Department manager and HR manager for a joint first interview, brief overview of the essential duties, boilerplate material shy on any technical details. I’ll be reporting to Sean- once I’m offered and accept the job. He quickly went over the prime software used by the credit union and at the same time excepted any requirement of specific experience with it. Rather, he moved quickly into the easiest question in the world for me. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I suppose I likely do have issue with the “little” part. I could fill volumes. I had passed Virginia Coney on my way the interview, it wasn’t far away and that is where I began my story. Words fall from my mouth. It’s a gift and one I haven’t lost. Sean had a great list of interview questions and also tagged in Becky for a few of her own. With nothing to base it on apart from the interview I think he is going to be a good manager to work for. I do think I interviewed well and with bravado. I may have mentioned I’d be prepared to take his job within a year.
The only drawback I see, is the corporate process. I’m one of a dozen applicants, the second to be interviewed- the rest scheduled over the next several weeks (to me, a clear sign of disinterested parties if not willing to interview at first opportunity.) Then time to discuss and select a second round interview with another higher manager. I do want a second interview (as it would be good to know who I’ll report to next year.) Yet, the idea of waiting six to eight weeks from now until my first paycheck is less than ideal.
I may think of this over the weekend and see if I can prepare a good email Monday morning to shorten the process. Both manager today agreed that I was somewhat overqualified yet with my life changes (looking for something less intense than skydiving, kids grown and gone, my physical issues) restarting my IT career in a ‘entry level’ opportunity inside of corporate environment with plenty of room for growth was a real good fit for me. Yes, I think a good email could do the trick, will send Monday with goal of second interview and job offer by Friday.
I can’t wait eight weeks. I didn’t think I was at “that level” or maybe there are just a lot of people out in that industry, yet I’ve been or am in the process of being head-hunted. It’s a little blind right now, yet this firm states they have a client in Jackson anxiously looking for IT help and should have an interview set up next week. Yet, I know that no matter what the job is, this middle man on the phone is going to be making ten percent on top of whatever I make. Yet, first offer in must be accepted. Maybe I should I just copy and paste these paragraphs?
Ha, maybe I don’t need to. I do have my web address at the top of my resume. My future managers could already be reading. <insert pondering thoughts about convention wisdom on internet publishing.> Now, I don’t think much writing will be required apart from brief documentation and trouble ticket replies etc, yet if they are reading at least my bosses know that I can type well and know how to tell a story or two.
Reconnecting again. The stats should be interesting the next few days, lately I’ve been feeling dull as readership seemed to drop off since I’ve been back in Jackson. Yet today I noticed that my WordPress installation (this website) was no longer automatically posting to my Facebook everyday when I clicked “publish”. Previously, it would automatically share my posts to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Twitter has been having issues though (or really, isn’t it just ‘issue’, as in it’s owner is the only issue,) and kicked WordPress of their network, so no more auto tweets.
I’m no twit, though I didn’t mind twelve hundred followers keeping up with the blog there. (How many of those are NOT bots is Elon’s problem too!) LinkedIn I’ve never used much and Facebook is where most of my social followers come from- until a few weeks ago. The last post autoshared was about me mowing my lawn. I hope no one thought I stopped writing!
I think that’s about all for the day really, some more radio and some more excising of course, though nothing to else to write home about.
Time to rest.