So I wake up yesterday morning, and when I lift my arms, especially the left one, I have this weird muscle pain near the top of my rib cage under my arms. As the day progresses, I feel worsening pain every time I move my arms—we’re not talking Olympian feats of physicality here, I just mean moving my arms for mundane tasks like reaching for the keyboard at my desk or lifting a coffee cup. “What have I done to myself NOW?!?!?!” I wail in wonder.
I should have known the answer right away: Yet another DIY workout gone wrong.
After a process of elimination—no acrobatic antics in the bedroom, no overzealous trips to the gym (or underzealous ones for that matter), and no marathon chicken-dance or Macarena world-record attempts—it finally dawns on me. Our latest project is a big built-in entertainment center for the den. I spent several minutes, a handful of times during the weekend, standing on the lower cabinets, pushing against a board over my head so Rush could mark for various elements. This header will eventually become an arched cap for the bookshelves. I knew at one point that my arms were fatigued, especially my left arm, which was doing most of the “work”. But I had no clue that I was rendering it useless.
By Monday night I couldn’t move without wincing. I felt like Eddie Izzard when he does his skit about Church of England members having no muscles in their arms.
This is a small muscle just south of my armpit that I cannot name and could not overwork with a set of weights and a month with nothing else to do, but one DIY project, holding up a board a few times, and PRESTO, I’m a temporary paraplegic.
DIY. It ain’t for sissies!
Date: February 21, 2012