20071106

I've Been Out

Four weeks ago, I received a request to do a "body alignment" lecture for a group of Japanese sports medicine students on November 3rd. I agreed, although not without some misgivings. First, I hate the topic. My specialty is biomechanics, and within that, kinematic and kinetic analysis. However, "core" strength is over-emphasized by all the fitness "experts" trying to capitalize on the core bandwagon. Second, I only had three and a half weeks to prep the lecture.

I sort of did the same lecture last year for the same group (different students), although I discussed mechanics specific to the overhand throw, common injuries and their prevention, and age-related progressions. But the coordinators really wanted the spinal alignment stuff, and besides, they gave the biomechanics lecture to a chiropractor. They should have given her the spinal alignment slot, because it would have made more sense for a chiropractor to do that and have a biomechanics person do the biomechanics stuff, but it was too late.

I spent all the spare time I had between my two jobs for the last 3 weeks modifying the lecture to fit in the alignment material without having to start from scratch. During this time, I didn't clean my house, do laundry, see friends, or reconcile my credit card receipts (if you wanted to steal my identity, last month would have been the perfect time). Last week, I slept a total of 22 hours in the 5 days leading up to the lecture.

My lecture was the first of the morning, 8am on Saturday. The coordinators arranged for a laptop and projector, and all I needed was a thumb drive or cd with my presentation... except on Friday night none of the thumb drives I had were working (I'm hard on my equipment) and my cd drive died! At 2am, my housemate wandered into my office to find me cursing and crying. He told me my notebook would work just fine with the projector and to go to bed.

4 hours later, my alarm went off. An hour after that, I woke up. I had 20 minutes to leave. I left in 30. I arrived on campus at 7:55, ran up to the building and into the scheduled room... and saw a group of shocked, non-Japanese people gaping at me! I excused myself and went back out into the hall. I just got a new phone and haven't had time to transfer numbers, and of course the coordinator's number was on my old phone. So I wandered up and down the hall until a woman asked me if I was Tracey. She was my translator, she couldn't find the room either, and her cell phone battery was dead! So we wandered around until the coordinator came -- the person responsible for booking that room accidentally overbooked it and we had to find an unused room! On the bright side, I found out I had more time than I thought, because it was an 8:30 start.

It wasn't the best lecture I've given, but it wasn't the worst, either. And, I also have to say the students were much more interested in the throwing and baseball portion than the core conditioning segment! All of their questions and comments had to do with shoulder injuries, and age-related issues in throwing (specifically baseball pitchers). At this point though, I'm just glad I have time to sleep now!