Sunday, April 22, 2007

Muscle Mass

If PP has to listen to one more Trying Too Hard to be Positive Before She Crashes middle aged woman rhapsodize about the golden opportunity presented by fuckin menopause to embrace CHANGE and IDENTITY, she’s gonna scream! ARRRRRRGGGGHHH!!!! (Sorry must be the Hormones yelling? That is one nice thing about menopause, you can blame ALL physical and emotional maladies on it. )

But…..
When Muscle Mass Loss Menopause Woman started to get into the Menopause is Opportunity Lecture, PP almost puked. I mean. What the hell is so great about it?
The Hot Flashes?
The Night Sweats?
The Vaginal Dryness. (Sorry, but it’s true)
The Sleeplessness?
The Hypersensitivity to any and all chemicals from antihistimines to alcohol. (And Lord knows, PP needs that glass of wine when she comes home, esp. after a Menopause Lecture)
What else?
Depression?
Crankiness?
DRY SKIN!!!

Oh, and don’t forget, Loss of Muscle Mass. Hell, MMLMW had already admitted that women start to lose their muscle mass (Has PP said that enuf times? It’s obviously bugging her!), so NOW IS THE TIME to start doing something about it. Weights. Weight bearing exercise. Swimming is great, its cardiovascular, but it’s not gonna help with the Muscle Mass Loss Situation.

Damn.
What’s a Menopausal Swimming Kitty to do?

Take the weights into the pool?
Somehow, PP doubts this is what MMLMW had in mind, and after all, she was just trying to be helpful while undressing and dressing for their respective workouts at the YMCA.

PP hadn’t liked her right off the bat. She’d come in, demanded PP move outta her way. Okay, maybe she wasn’t that demanding but it felt that way after PP’s long day at Psycho University hearing about the Lost Souls of Maui and Orinda. Now, she just wanted to swim. So when MMLMW had barged in, glaring at PP for taking up the entire aisle (Hey, no one was around when PP first came in!), PP's fur had been more than a little ruffled.

“I need to get right there!” she’d announced, pointing at the floor. “Locker 732.”
PP glanced down at her crap spread out all over the floor. ‘Oh, ok. Sorry, I can move,’ she apologized crankily.
Then thought better of her Cranky State. After all here she was at the Y and this was obviously someone who knew her way around. She had a locker! And she was FIT. Solid, muscled, curvy Asian Woman. No nonsense. That muscle mass was calling.

“You a swimmer?” PP asked, knowing she wasn’t. How could PP tell? She just could. There was something about swimmers that set them apart. They were, oh, more soft? Less intense? Ummm….PP will have to think about this since she has known some very intense swimmers in her day.

But this woman, of course, just chuckled, and glanced up at PP as she was lacing her Athletic Shoes, “I swim, but no, I’m not a Swimmer.”
“Oh, what do you do?”
“Weights.”
“Oh…I just swim.”Glancing at her suspiciously, MMW sighed, as she looked PP up and down. “Yes, it’s very important that we start working out with weights. We start to lose our Muscle Mass during menopause. How old are you?”

PP tried to keep the aghast reaction of ‘None of your fucking business’ going thro her brain from showing on her face. Doubted that she was successful, but MMLW wasn’t paying attention to such nuances. PP wondered, should she lie? Say she’s 39? Could she get away with it? Probably not since the subject of Menopause had already come up, so PP swallowed hard, admitted the truth. (Wait, she’s not gonna tell here. )

“I’m 48,” MMLW asserted strongly as she headed for the toilet. “It’s time you started doing something about it,” she called out as the tinkle trickle began.
“But it’s a time issue.” PP whined. “I mean, if I have time to make it here to the Y, I swim. I don’t really wanna give up my swimming time for weights.” PP also didn’t want to admit that she was supurr intimidated by the goddamn weights. So heavy and sweaty.

Yuck!

“You don’t have to do them all the time,” MMW continued after flushing the toilet. “You could just start slow, do it once a month. Get a buddy to exercise with.”
“That’s a good idea,” PP lies as she heads for the toilet too. It’s a little weird how the toilets are in the midst of the dressing area, the hot tub, actually they’re all over. So you’ve peeing and talking and …..okay, whatever. It’s weird. PP’s getting off the track here about peeing, but it is a Big Consideration with her. Did she list it with the Menopause Woes? You can add it on. Peeing every 30 minutes—Menopause. Don’t ask the details. Too icky!

When PP does return from the toilet, MMLW is sitting on one of the square wooden stools (Why does everyone sit on the stool, PP wonders? She never has, but has observed that everyone else does. Plops down. In bra and panties. Staring into space.
Exhaustion inspires stool use?)

Anyway, MMW is sitting on the stool, bent over a book, sniffling. PP thinks, oh no, she’s crying? But why would that be? About the book? About her loss of Muscle Mass? About Menopause?
Closing the book, she glances up at PP, and then smiles fakely. “Have a good swim.”
“Uh, yeah, you have a good workout too.”
“Thanks.”


Happily exhausted from the swim and hot tub, PP half wishes that she won’t run into MM woman again, but no, there she is, getting dressed. “You have a good swim?”
”OH, yeah, and did you have a good weight workout?”
”Oh, yes, those endorphins. They make all the difference.”
“That’s for damn sure,” PP agrees.
“Esp. now that I’m just starting Menopause.”
”Yeah, I’ve been in Menopause for years.”
“Really? Well, you’re doing the right thing.”
She was? PP shakes her head and smiles slowly in confusion, remembering the admonishment regarding swimming vs. weights only a little over an hour ago.

“Just think of our Mothers. All those kids and no one talked about IT.”
“Yeah….” PP thinks that talking about IT has its drawbacks, but hell maybe it’ll turn into a good story.
“IT is a Big Change, tho,” MMW muses. “But what I tell my friends, is that if you don’t like it, if you don’t like the New ME, well, then too bad. This is it and I’m glad of it.”
PP nods, not knowing what the hell she’s talking about. Menopause creates a New Me? Maybe so, for PP at least, it’s created a new Crankier Me.
“I see it as an opportunity for transformation and change, going forward to a New Tomorrow.”
Did PP just hear her right?
No, PP thinks she just made that part up.

Yet, maybe MMW had a point? If we can’t do anything about Menopause, then why not embrace it? Treasure it? Rejoice in it?

Fuck.

PP hates it. There’s nothing rejoicive about it on any level. Hell, maybe if she still had periods it’d be a relief on that end, but even with her friends that still have periods, it sounds like Menopause just messes their cycles up. Makes them unpredictable and painful.

So, what’s to Embrace?

PP glances over at MMW and shrugs. She is fit. And her Muscle Mass looks pretty good.

But still, PP wonders…..if Menopause is such a wonderful life transforming change, then why the Hell does everyone bitch about it?

Exactly!

Tossing her stuffs back in her big blue bag, PP heads out of the locker room and past MMW chatting with a new victim. “And I tell my friends, if they don’t like the NEW ME well then…..”

Giggling to herself, PP heads out of the locker room and into the gray rainy afternoon. Thankful that it’s Saturday but even more thankful that she’s finally learned what to do about Menopause.

Ignore it!

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