Tuesday, March 02, 2004


I wouldn't call it a cramp, but a sort of proto-cramp sensation, like a little knot in my left calf, had been dogging me, ever since those two runs up into the hills. And we ran out of bananas, and for a day yesterday my whole body, including the arms, felt pre-crampy when yawn stretching. Bananas contain potassium, the lack of which is the usual cause of muscle cramps. But it could have just been sleep deprivation. So this morning the first thing I did was eat a banana, and I felt fine all morning. Then just around noon I was doing some chores and I was scooting or leaping around the house in my usual way. Most people move with sedate dignity. I move more like a squirrel dodging a car. A thought occurs to me and I go. So, I leapt from the laundry to the computer (or whatever it was), and noticed that the proto-cramp in my calf had come back. So I ate some lunch (broccoli chicken), and walked to the mall to get some lunch (!) and look for a potassium supplement. I had to remind myself to walk slowly. My usual walk is a power walk. But it occurs to me that this imposes a burden on the calves. Walk swiftly and those muscles have to keep working and working, never getting a rest: pop-pop-pop. Go jogging and they are required to contract at a much more leisurely pace: thump ... thump ... thump. At the mall I went to three places and found that each had a potassium glauconate supplement of about 550 mg that delivers only 90g of potassium, or 3% of the daily recommended value. I am no biochemist, but this indicates to me that there is no easy way to stably store potassium such that it passes through the human gut and is delivered to the tissues. Other than in bananas. The pill would have to be 33 times bigger to deliver the daily recommended value.

While I was looking at pills, a marshmallowy woman handed my a bottled water and asked me if I could open it for her. "My hands aren't working very well today," she said. I opened it for her, thinking, that could soon be me.

So I got some weight-lifting gloves instead, since I have noticed that some of my lifting with the free weights abrades my wedding ring. And I got some take-out Chinese food (fried rice with honey chicken). Saw a guy wearing a blue superhero costume with a giant peace sign on it. Today is election day. I voted. Did you?
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