Glutton for Punishment

I’m a glutton for self-induced punishment—we took in another branding on Saturday and I thoroughly abused my body again wrestling calves. The next morning, I noticed which muscles I hadn’t used in a while, and felt sore from my shoulders to the grip of my hands, to my rear end. Although I’m not sure why my butt felt sore—I thought I used it quite regularly, sitting.

When I went to put on the skirt and top outfit I picked out for church, I got a glimpse of my shins in the mirror. I’d never seen them look so bad, and never noticed any tenderness. They looked like two week-old bananas that had been packed around in a lunchbox too long. From the tops of my knees all the way down to my ankles were big blotchy bruises. They were too big and obvious to wear a skirt without those nasty things called nylons, but since I waited until the last possible minute to get ready, I didn’t have time to pick something else out and tolerated wearing black nylons.

I didn’t recall getting kicked hard enough to think I’d get a bruise, I just remembered complaining to myself that my twice-patched branding jeans developed yet another hole exposing my knee, but that still didn’t explain the bruises on the rest of my shins. Every time I held the head end of a calf down, the brittle ground felt like it was tenderizing my kneecap.

I pitied my poor boy the whole day Saturday. He had knee troubles too. There’s nothing more torturous than telling a highly active kid he can’t be active.

It wasn’t until the evening after our branding last Sunday, that he mentioned his knee feeling sore after landing it on a rock while wrestling a calf. His kneecap looked like it had a water balloon on top of it; big, soft, and grossly squishy. Later in the week I realized he had water on the knee and took him in to have it looked at.

The doctor (who grew up on a ranch) suggested the non-invasive approach of resting it and said no physical activity such as running, bike riding, or calf wrestling for 2-3 weeks. He pouted all day Saturday and commented that all the things he likes to do, he couldn’t do any of them. He looked like he was being tortured as he watched other people roping, dragging, and wrestling calves. I felt his pain. That’s what it was like for me when I was pregnant with him. I couldn’t do what I enjoyed because of the big balloon-like attachment to my body.

The punishment I put on my body’s starting to dissipate now, but I considered it a good kind of punishment. I always feel like I accomplished something when my muscles feel sore.

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