A last-minute opening on the chiro waitlist sent me back to Markham a week later. I was undoubtedly in lesser pain than the previous visit, though mobility remained restricted in fear of further injury.
Majority of the surrounding establishments were residential units, with the exception of a church on the opposite side of Centre Street.
- Keeping the feet and knees together, and pushing out to extend the legs
- Keeping the feet and knees together, and pushing out to raise legs into the air while keeping the lower back on the carriage. I was told to aim towards landing higher on the Cardio Tramp, closer to the edge rather than the centre. The Carriage slamming into the Reformer frame was an indication of poor control on the way back.
- Keeping the feet and knees together, and pushing out to maintain knees in tabletop position in midair
- With a foam roller placed behind the low back and keeping feet and knees together, and pushing out to extend legs into air in a V-shape. Given the added degree of difficulty contributed by elevation of the upper body (engagement of upper abs), I would arch over foam roller to lengthen the abdomen muscles between the first and second sets.
- With a foam roller placed behind the low back and keeping feet and knees together, and pushing out to extend the legs. Once again, arching over over the foam roller provided release between the first and second sets.
Surging in recognition as of late is the Street Woman Fighter anthem of Hey Mama. I noted its correlation to the dance crew survival show and, while she was aware of its existence, it had not been made it to her watching radar.
Following the cardio warmup, my posture was assessed. Subsequent exercises followed on the Cadillac. The foam roller made another appearance, this time positioned beneath underneath the entire body. With the butt on the edge of foam roller, a rolldown/rollup series was conducted with fingers wrapped around the tension-affixed push-through bar. My default response was the place the thumbs on the opposite side of the fingers, though this was amended to having all fingers on the same side.
Outside of class time, I have taken to practicing rollups on the foam roller at home. The process has never once proved painless, however the efforts undertaken were acknowledged. The rollup portion was "fine", though I was told to reduce speed on the rolldown segment (ie. summon better control).
An impressive amount of quad control for demanded of the lifted leg, along with outer and inner thigh-targeting movements. Soreness persisted in the quad muscles for roughly the next two days.
The second Chair exercise involved a standing position with one foot on the seat, in front of the handlebar, and the other foot on the paddle. I had the option of using the handlebars for support, but had to be wary of applying pressure to the injured shoulder. An alternative for was to balance on the apparatus with the arms folded across the chest. Wobbliness and a distinct lack of core/leg strength caused reversion to the beginner level, but attempts were made to minimize pressure on the upper body by engaging more of the leg for balance. It was incredibly difficult to maintain neutral spine for the entire duration of the move; given asymmetry in leg strength, the instructor provided assistance in re-aligning the body throughout the move.
We finished on the Chair with a calve stretch on both legs. It was near identical to the Achilles stretch introduced during physio; the only aspect to be mindful of was overextension of ankle when raising the heels. Correct form was noted when lowering the heels down.
Rotating to face the barrel, stretches were performed for the hamstring and IT band on the right, and hamstring and oblique on the left. When inquired about the need to stretch the left oblique, it was relayed to me that one side was tighter/weaker than the other, and stretching more could rotate the pelvis out of alignment. Given that I had completed the session without tilt, it was in my best interest to halt stretching in the opposite direction.
Improvement - it was precisely the word I would associate with the ten-class experience. Beyond basic form corrections, I had obtained advice and recommendations on exercises appropriate for my body. Whether the objective was posture rectification or overall caretaking of my physical health in the face of poor biomechanics, I had gained information that could be incorporated into my daily life and exercise routine. The six month (!)-long duration had been a worthy investment. And, in conjunction with paramedical services on an as-needed basis, I am optimistic in that knowledge attained shall provide a better quality of life in the years to come.
Between the two taller pieces, a unanimous preference was extended towards the Red Bean edition. Both the surface and underside were coated with crushed red bean bits, with a coarse, chewy rice layer in the middle. As its centre was primarily bland in nature, flavours were derived from sweet-salty casing
- Red Bean: Adopting pale green shells and a thick, dusty pink swirl of filling, this one was lightly sweet but very creamy.
- Injeolmi: The undeniable favourite of the selection, Injeolmi combined a distinct nuttiness with subtle crunch and minimal sweetness.
- Chestnut: Texture was owed to the visible chunks of hazelnut contained within the shells, though roasted flavours of chestnut were not perceived throughout consumption.
- Black Sesame: Despite dark specks distributed throughout the grey filling (and presumably some inclusion of black sesame in the shells), this variation offered a reduction in aromatic properties from the Black Sesame Rice Cakes. It was also far more sugary than desired and devoid of any defining attributes.
- Vanilla: Presented with a red shell and off-white frosting, Vanilla gave off the appearance of red velvet cake. There was no cocoa to be tasted, nor vanilla bean. Its profile was delicate and luxurious, allowing it to pair wonderfully with coffee.
- Tiramisu: Encasing swirls of cream cheese-infused filling and donning a thorough dusting of cocoa powder, Tiramisu possessed the greatest amount of visual appeal. The creation was likely my second favourite of the assortment - in spite of the mild presence of coffee - following closely behind Injeolmi.
It was interesting that the ground level entrance was unstaffed. Majority of the crew members were floating about the indoor dining hall, with several more tending to the patio space outside. The sole member donning jeans and a t-shirt was the hostess; she provided little info beyond that the parking ticket did not need to be placed on the dashboard of my vehicle. Rather than being guided to my seat, I earned a subtle glare for indicating presence of my party. The meaning - I soon learned - was to navigate on my own, and service would be shown at a later point in time.
Laminated menus had been placed on the table and remained until my arrival. They were decidedly sticky - unsurprisingly so, given the restaurant's diner volume and lengthy operating hours - and required a thorough handwashing after handling.
Beyond the Shakshuka, I hadn't been too familiar with the all-day eatery's specialties. The theme appeared Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, with a notable dependence on herbs and availability of niche beverages such as Turkish Coffee. The waitress expressed a lack of keenness towards menu RFIs, though concluded that the Mediterranean Shakshuka was a heartier choice than the Halloumi. I opted for her recommendation, while my punctual partner chose the Merguez Shakshuka. Parsley, labneh, and tahini were constant constituents of both options; variances lay with beef sausage in the Merguez and feta and eggplant in the Mediterranean. Carb choices could also be customized to one's liking, whether in the form of a white bread roll, multigrain bread roll, or Landwer's Moroccan pita. A pre-dressed side salad would also arrive in accompaniment.
Its fame was warranted, for the spread was satisfying in multiple regards. Unconventional placement of the components aside, we found great delight in traversing across the array of items. The side salad was a good portion of greens garnering flavour without excess greasiness, while the pita was positively plush with gorgeous gluten stands and enthralling elasticity. Within the cast iron skillet was a warm potion of tomato-y, savoury goodness.
Seasonings were quite strong, causing an herby flair to be captured within recycled mask breath. Runny eggs were nestled at the edges and maintained composure until punctured for dipping. Unlike the damp crumbles commonly found in Greek Salad, the feta contained within the Mediterranean edition was surprisingly solid. It offered a sense of substance, along with soft - but not mushy - bites of eggplant. Meanwhile, the beef sausage of the Merguez was oddly smooth without coarseness whatsoever.
The beverage was later taken hostage by a wasp and its unsatiated curiosity.
Bathrooms adopted the form of single stalls: one per gender and an accessible one with a faulty door-opening mechanism from the inside. The outside was fine.