Front Row, Far Left. Front Row, Far Left.
Almost every time. That's where you'd find me. Except, of course, the times I was Front Row, Far Right. You see, whenever we took those annual team photos, the photographers and coaches would line us up by height...short guys in the front, big tall trees in the back. Seemingly without fail, I was the shortest guy on the team -- thus I was the guy who was put up at the front of the line. Whether I ended up in the bottom left corner of the picture or bottom right was an arbitrary decision, but you get the idea.
Somewhere in my parents attic, I think I probably have about 25 or 30 of those team photos -- for my high school wrestling team, the football team, baseball, basketball...all the way back to Pop Warner and Little League -- and I was the shortest one in T-Ball at Age 6, just as I'd be the shortest one as an 18-year-old high school senior. Even in class pictures -- with boys AND girls -- I was in the front row, near the shortest kids. But I can't say this is why I'm doing LL.
By the way, when I say "football", of course I mean the American
kind....Peyton, not Pelé...Montana, not Maradona. OK, maybe your
football (soccer) is the most popular sport worldwide, but we have hotter cheerleaders. As I digress.
So anyhoo, it's not to say I was "small". I discovered weightlifting incredibly early in life, around the age of 10. By the time I started college, I was around 185lbs/83.9kg (...not sure how much energy I'll be devoting to running conversions for you metric folks). Maybe my upper body strength was just OK, but I could leg press almost 1000 pounds, nearly half a ton. As a wrestler and defensive lineman, I had developed big thick thighs and huge calves. Seriously, one time I was checking out a gym and a couple bodybuilders told me I had some of the biggest calves they had ever seen. Runs in my family, it seems: my Dad and uncles also got tree trunks for legs.
Well, for me, not so much tree trunks as stumps
. They're just friggin' shooooort
. Growing up, my Mom always had to hem up my pants a LOT because I've always had such short legs and a big torso...and it's much worse now that I've gone from well-muscled, finely-tuned athlete to out-of-shape former
athlete/has-been. And hell, as bad as pants were, I think shorts were even worse. Most people admire and adore Michael Jordan...but I kind of hate him. Yeah yeah: dominated the game, 6 rings, Greatest Ever (maybe), yadda yadda...I don't care. We wear shorts much of the year in California and YOU, Your Airness, and that '92 "Fab Five" Michigan team made things just that much worse for my fashion decisions. But that's not why I'm doing LL, either.
So after (what-seems-like) an eon devouring everything I can on MMT, tons of preparation, lots of hemming and hawing, sleepless nights considering and reconsidering, getting all the immunizations, a nightmare visa process, obsessively trying to nail down things at home and with my employer, a 40+ hour trip across 10,000 miles and 13 time zones, I FINALLY arrived in India Sunday night.
I met with Dr. Parihar in Mumbai Monday evening, hopped on a redeye to Delhi, got to Gurgaon early yesterday morning and visited Dr. Sringari's Care Home in the afternoon, am meeting Dr. Sringari in the morning (about 4 or so hours from now)......and yes, I am also seeing the infamous "Dr. Voldemort" in the afternoon.
*covers head and braces for flames*
I have my reasons and will explain as much as I can after I have met all three. I will also try to provide as much in-depth info on the trip itself, for the very few of you who might follow this "Come to India and Decide" approach. But don't worry, no decisions will be made because "Monorails look comfy". No slight intended...I hope that quad woman does well and I wish her all the best in the possibly massive struggles she has ahead of her.
Why little graphics splattered all over my diary like a Kindergarten book? Well, first of all, that's my reading level. Secondly, I remember an MMTer months (or years) ago griping that somebody's diary was littered with too much non-relevant BS. And I also recall the many times diary-writers (diary-ers? no? too gross?) would have to stomp their foot with "I didn't write this for you, I wrote it for ME!". Well, I think they're both right. I do write as an outlet sometimes, just to depressurize the intense swelling of my little brain. So I have to warn you guys that this diary might be filled with a bunch of useless cra* that don't nobody care about. Conversely, it is
a community, one from which I have learned 90% of what I know about LL, so I want to pay it forward and provide as much info and insight (from my possibly unique perspective) as I can.
So that's why I made the markers...that, and the fact that I was doing anything I humanly could to avoid going back to work one afternoon. In addition to the Travel and the LL, I'll try to touch a bit on Aftercare, Financial, Medical issues, India Itself, Motivation/Inspiration, and General Bullshit (in which case the aforementioned griper can look for this icon and skip to the next section):
Yes, I know this might seem like an ambitious prospect to keep such a detailed diary -- and the patients I met yesterday all warned me of how much lethargy will set in, replacing motivation/will/energy. That, as much or more than the physical pain, troubles me (nearly) the most. So it's quite possible I keep an amazingly thoughtful, profound, hilarious, inspiring, informative journal...for like a week -- while I am up every night worried as hell and running on the nervous adrenaline. And after that: "F*CK y'all, I'm in PAIN!"
Quote of the week
I thought this was particularly apropos, considering the location from which I'm citing it:"If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. When I believe I can, I acquire
the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning."