Union or Non Union Back(or knees)? How to Tell

My back “went out” again Tuesday night and by “went out” I do not mean on a date for dinner with a hot redhead back. Here I was on Wednesday morning, in pain, and at a complete loss to know whether this was from having slept wrong, or having exercised for 12 out of the last 14 days. I took two aspirin that night and went to Zumba class. This apparently was not the response my back was looking for. It reacted angrily. “Angrily” like the little girl in the first Exorcist movie.

We entered new contract negotiations and at this point I realized that somehow, I, unknowingly had ended up with a “union” back. It had not always been a union back. For as long as I can remember, it had been a non-union back, working long hours, doing as much overtime, without care, or even pay or whatever pay as I would give it, not caring if core management was tough, or even there to help at all. In fact, it was soo proud of being non-union, it just laughed at the legs when they offered to pitch in and help, and you can just imagine what it thinks of my ass. No, clearly, for years, I had a non union back. Sure, it got sick, needed some time off on occasion, even some muscle relaxers and a trip to the chiropractor now and then, but when the hell did it unionize and I didn’t even notice???

With more and more attention being paid to unnecessary back surgeries. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tapping-into-controversial-back-surgeries/, and an aging baby boom population, I thought it might be helpful to point out how you can tell if you have a “union” or “non-union” back. This may guide your negotiations with your back and save you many a CAT scan, MRI, or even an unnecessary surgery.

A non-union back will hurt, ache, twinge, spasm, but with some non inflammatory pain killers, a little heat, and maybe even a drug store-bought brace, never keep you from your chosen work, family obligations or family. PERIOD. It will only go out on you when you’re lifting some thing heavy. Either ridiculously or repetitively so. You “break” it for your family, and give the shirt off of it to your friends, and even strangers.

Here’s some ways to tell if you have a union back. (Or knees, or other appropriate body parts they can all organize). It starts small – sometimes with a constant dull, non incapacitating but annoying ache. This is “A “sick out”, or (especially by uniformed police officers) “blue flu”, is a type of strike action in which the strikers call in sick. This is used in cases where laws prohibit certain employees from declaring a strike. Police, firefighters, air traffic controllers, and teachers in some U.S. states, are among the groups commonly barred from striking usually by state and federal laws meant to ensure the safety or security of the general public.” (All work action references quoted herein are from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_action and whatever they may lack in accuracy they sure make up for in humor). At this stage then, your back, knee, whatever is still buying the hype from the other body parts that it can’t strike- but it’s only a matter of time before one of them, usually the knees or the back goes all Chavez on you. In my case, the conversation went something like this: Management: “What DO you want?” Back- “Have you seen your belly lately? YOURE A FAT ASS!!!! LOSE SOME WEIGHT!!!!

Your first sign that your back has held official sanctioned union elections is they day your back “goes out” doing some innocuous, otherwise innocent movement. Like putting a glass in the sink, or getting the morning paper. Your back is making a statement here. It’s not “going” out while you’re lifting a 100 lb bags of mulch- NO- that might mislead you- it’s going out while you’re putting a feather on the top shelf of the bookshelf. Here’s your first official F YOU to management. This is the backs way of saying you’re not paying attention to my previous demands. “What previous demands”, you say? Here’s where it gets good

The back says, “So, you’re not going to lift. with your legs, eh?” “Core management?!?! We’ve never seen such a fat, lazy, overpaid, worthless group as that core section! “And don’t even talk to me about that ass”

Your next sign is your back will go out one morning, miraculously get better over the course of the day, EXCEPT, to do things like bend at the waist, or pick things off the floor. This is “Another unconventional tactic is work-to-rule (also known as an Italian strike, in Italian: Sciopero bianco), in which workers perform their tasks exactly as they are required to but no better. For example, workers might follow all safety regulations in such a way that it impedes their productivity or they might refuse to work overtime. Such strikes may in some cases be a form of “partial strike” or “slowdown”.” This is how the back lets you know you’re not working those legs enough, or that core enough. “Demands”.

I know now that I’m in an advanced labor management struggle because I’m getting exercise induced work actions from the back. It’s using a combinations of sick outs, work to rules, and over the last year, has threatened an all out full work stoppage several times. Lately, my right knee has staged mini sympathy strikes. Now I understand in yoga class when they tell us in bridge pose, and certain back bends on the floor just to use our core, leg and back muscles and to relax our buttock muscles they’re trying to keep the buttock muscles from organizing. (Somehow, one of my piriformis muscles got in the back union and I can tell you that is not good)

Anyway, I’m sympathetic to the union, I really am, I’m trying to lose weight, that’s what all the exercise is for, as well as to strengthen the core, legs AND buttocks so the legs don’t have to work so hard, but, I don’t remember any promises of defined benefit plans, or free back rides. Or back retirement, so ain’t no stayin home cause the back’s a little whiney. While I don’t always approve of these work actions, I really agree with all of the backs demands, and shutting the plant or moving all the work offshore really isn’t an option so we’re gonna have to work this out. We’ve brought in aspirin to mediate. We’re going to yoga together tomorrow. Namaste.

Advertisements

Zumba Update, Tourette’s, and Common Core Math

I’ve discovered just this week, much to my joy, that the music in class is actually so loud, I can actually blurt out some of the ridiculous things that come across my brain and nobody can here them. Well, except maybe, once in awhile, the woman standing right next to me. But she pretty much ignores me. Most of the time. I call this “Zumba Tourette’s”.

For example, we have a “cool down” routine that’s the same for the end of every class. One position is a squat with cactus arms. Like this.

IMG_2585.JPG. When we did this yesterday, I thought of Ferguson, St Louis, so I blurted out, “Don’t Shoot”. Mary said “what?!” I said, “don’t shoot”. Zumba Tourette’s. Most of my other Zumba Tourette’s comments are more predictable.

Tuesday one of the veterans said, “You’ve been coming for awhile, you’ve been seeing results!” I said, “16 months, and no results. Well, consistency is a result. I’m very consistent. I may lack timing, balance, grace, athleticism, flexibility, strength, agility, stamina, wind, beauty, progress or demonstrable results but I’m proving I’ve got balls and obsessive compulsive disorder. Otherwise, I’m just as bad as when I started”

After 16 months of attendance, I’ve been tracking some patterns, and can now reasonably explain why, on any given day, I only really know the routines for, let’s say, three songs. Here’s the math, in both “old” and Common Core Format. Zumba class is 55 minutes starting 5 minutes late and ending on the hour and each song is roughly 3 minutes each leaving approximately 18 songs per class, give or take. One of those is a cool down song leaving 17. Even with rapid changeovers between songs, you can subtract one more song for beaks between songs leaving 16. You old folks divided 3 into 55, you common core folks grabbed your iPhone, a stop watch, an abacus, started playing music, stoping songs after three minutes, moving a bead on the abacus for each song, watching the clock as you go. We’ll wait till you catch up).

The instructor to her credit, regularly rotates the playlist to provide a change of pace, different routines, work out different muscle groups, blah, blah blah, so the songs change somewhat each class. Of the 16, at least three are brand spanking new routines (to me). Depending on whether the choreography is easy (then it takes me 4 weeks to learn it) or of its hard (she was motivated to create it by some road rage incident that day- I generally call these songs – “road rage choreography”) then those take me more like 8 weeks to learn. An average song will not be in the rotation more than 8’weeks so some will actually rotate out before I’ve actually learned them.

Three of the remaining 16 are older songs (meaning they have dropped out of the rotation but are being brought back). Per the above paragraph, it takes me 1/2 as long to forget a routine as it takes me to learn it. In any case. Most songs are rotated out long enough so that when they are recycled, I remember the song, but not the routine. hence, we’re now up to 6 of the 10 I’m incompetent to perform.

The remaining ten are some variations of these two rules above, resulting in another 3 or 4 that are either so new I can’t do the routines or have been off the playlist for so long I can do them. Using old math, this would result in a answer of 6 songs I actually knew the routines to at any one time. If you’re still using common core math standards to compute this answer, then take double the recommended dose of stool softener with a large glass of prune juice. When those take effect, walk into the bathroom with some hand rolled incense, light it sit down, and the number which comes to mind is the correct answer. According to common core standards.

I like watching new people in class. 75% of anyone who comes to class for the very first time does a better job than me. I’ve already decided if I ever go to another Zumba class and they ask if I’ve ever been I’m going to lie an say it’s my first time, so I won’t be embarrassed,

So, I was leaving class Tuesday, and walking out tot the little parking lot. In daylight. Of the daycare. And happened to be parked next to one of the new girls who showed up that day, who was sitting I her car on her phone. She saw me… And locked her doors. I wonder if Zumba international sells any shirts with Zumba on the back and “I’m not a serial killer” on the front?

I think this Zumba Tourette’s is going to get worser.