Saturday, 1 September 2012

Saturday Scratch #8

Following the closure of my record store in 2000, I got a job in a coffee shop. A new outlet was opening nearby and with my passion for the bean and history in customer service, it was a natural fit. The last few years of running my own business were extremely stressful and I looked forward to the luxury of doing a day's work and walking away at the end of my shift with no responsibilities. It lasted three days.

I arrived at the store on the fourth morning to find the area manager running around getting his hands dirty - something was afoot. The manager had walked out. The team behind the counter was about 15 strong, most aged between 17 and 22 - then there was me at 40. A new manager would be in place within a couple of weeks, would I cover until then? Keys were handed over, banking and ordering procedures hastily explained and rotas amended. My stress-free honeymoon was over. 

For the next ten years I managed a succession of stores for the company and was on my feet for 10 -12 hours-a-day, six days-a-week in noisy, airless environments. My record shop flab fell away as I ate on the run and rarely stood still. It was only when I left in 2011 that my body began to revolt. Various aches and pains appeared and followed one after another - and still they come.

My lifestyle after leaving became comparatively sedentary, so I got into a routine of going for at least one good walk per day. In the city I would don my MP3 player for such excursions, but when we moved into the village last year I soon realised that the sounds of nature were all I needed to accompany me and the walks became longer and more frequent. In spite of this, my weight increased steadily and I felt that more was needed and so began power-walking interspersed with short jogs to get the ol' lungs and heart working a bit harder. I've never been a jogger, never-ever. What I do is more akin to shuffling, but by jove, I started to feel better for it.

Two Tuesdays ago I was about halfway round my circular route when a small discomfort on the inside of my right knee became a screaming pain. No pings or snaps, nothing dramatic - it just gradually began to hurt...a lot. After a couple of days of resting my leg, I realised that the pain wasn't just going to go away, so I went to see the friendly, family GP. During the previous 10 years of store management I think I visited my doctor once - lately,the practice is fast becoming my second home. Something has worn out in my leg, but they're not quite sure what - a ligament maybe, or a muscle perhaps - nothing too serious, but enough to stop me in my tracks for a bit. For the time being I'm on painkillers and booked in for a course of physio over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, back at Saturday Scratch.....The Hurricanes, fronted by future Meditations vocalist Danny Clarke, were one of a series of lesser known artists produced by Lee Perry in 1971. The single is a tough, brass-driven tune which was subsequently versioned in 1973 as 'Elephant Rock' on The Upsetters' seminal 'Blackboard Jungle Dub' LP. The title of the original Hurricanes cut? 'You Can Run'......are you havin' a larf mate? I can't even walk properly at the moment!

 Enjoy your weekend and remember to warm-up thoroughly before exercise.



Previously on Saturday Scratch.

6 comments:

Old Pa's Corner said...

Well I have dieted since I was 20 and seemed to always be on a diet. It is only in the last 10 years that I have put on weight.....but on major diet at moment..I take the dogs out twice a day....and at moment cycling as well...I have even thoughts of doing a marathon(bar)...if I did not drink there would be no weight problems....nothing for 2 weeks now..I could murder a pint....to fabulous tracks today....and hope your health improves....and you can get these walks in..

The Swede said...

When I was younger I just had to stop drinking for a couple of weeks and the weight would to drop off me. Now I drink nowhere near as much as I did....and the weight keeps piling on! My health's not too bad - it's just so frustrating not being able to go out for a walk at the moment! Stick with the diet OPC - you'll be jogging to the bar in no-time!

Singing Bear said...

Two fabulous cuts. On the subject of Mr. Perry, me and the Mrs. and cubs all went out in the car earlier and as they had all pissed me off a bit about one thing or another, I flatly refused to remove the rather ace Scratch album I had in the CD player, so the little buggers had to listen to old Lee and all his chums whether they liked it or not! I call it an education. Haha!

As for running - I used to run a lot and do quite a few miles but my knees have now gone and I get a lot of pain in my right knee in particular (the medical folk tell me it's plain worn out). I still do a quite a bit of walking (blame the dog) and try to ensure there are plenty of hills involved but, alas, can no longer run. I miss it. Be careful with your knees and get some good rest before trying it again.

The Swede said...

Thanks for the advice Singing Bear. I'll try not to rush it, but I'm getting sick of the sight of these four walls!

A captive audience for Scratch - the family will thank you for their musical education one day!

C said...

I'm reminded of that song from a few years back and one of the lines that stood out, "Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.."! So I do hope your leg makes a quick and full recovery and you can get back to your walking. Or maybe it's all that dancing wildly round the room to Scratch that's the real cause ;-)

The Swede said...

Thanks C. I'm optimistic that gentle skanking will form part of my physiotherapy treatment!

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