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my body
my body
July 03, 2022

It's fascinating to track the ways in which my body is changing, the ways in which this journey is changing my body.

This photo shows one measure: tanness. That's my hand, which is in the sun every day, but which was seldom in the sun before Itasca. And that's my chest, which is mostly not in the sun - a shirt, or more than one, and a life jacket, shield it most of the day, every day.

I can feel my body getting stronger in some ways, more capable. My shoulders no longer ache at the end of a day of paddling thirty miles. My core is getting stronger. I can feel it with every passing day, taking more of the load.

When I began, I was having constant problems with numbness in my hands, especially my right hand. Those are now basically gone.

Weird momentary things crop up. Today, my calves were screaming at me much of the day. I can only assume that was about the hills of Dubuque yesterday and the day before.

I have very serious tan lines: upper forearm, lower thigh. Forehead. My feet and hands are like pieces of old leather. My belly is like a piece of bleached paper.

When I get up and get out on the water, it takes awhile - an hour or more - for my body to regain the ability it had the evening before to move as one relatively integrated system. For some time, I paddle with my arms and shoulders alone. Then my back gets into it. Then my hips. Then my abs and the front side of my body. Then finally my legs. Every day is a shakedown cruise, and my body is the thing being shaken.