twenty-one to twenty-three: seventy-two hours of hawesome

This weekend started out on an exceptionally high note: on my way to Dodger Stadium to meet my parents for the Arizona game, I got a call from my manager: one of the producers from Teen Titans is now working on Legion of Superheroes, and wanted to cast me for a part on the new show. I don’t know any details, yet, like if it’s a one-time voice, or a recurring character or what, but I’m working on Friday! Go me!

The Dodger game was superexcellent. Not only did I get to spend an evening with my wife and my parents, but it was a great game that the Dodgers actually managed to hold on and win. Go Dodgers!

Saturday, I bought some new shoes and a new belt  (trust me, this is very exciting) before Anne and I met our friends at Dave and Busters and goofed off for hours. I am the master of coin-flipping soccer, and I have over 20,000 tickets and nothing worth redeeming. Go me (but really go Dave and Busters for making a game that I love to play with no tangible reward . . . yet.)

Sunday, I started the day with some marathon training, but I only got one mile done before I got the goddamn pain in my right side that keeps ruining me. Maybe someone knows what the hell is going on: occasionally, I’ll go out for a jog, and after about two blocks, this tightness starts in my right hip that spreads up my stomach and eventually into my ribs on my right side. Once it starts, it takes about one minute to take over the right side of my body and hurts so severely I can’t even take a deep breath, much less keep running. I always end up just turning around and walking home, because I’ve learned that I can’t even walk it out, because it’s much more (and worse) than a simple stitch in my side; it’s more of a crippling muscle freak out. The worst thing is that I get pissed because my cardio system is fine, the rest of my body feels fine, but I absolutely can’t even jog a half a block. What the hell? I’m only 33 years old, and I can’t even run a block? Why can’t my fucking body just work?! Can you tell that I’m getting pissed just thinking about it?

Anyway, after that unfortunately aborted attempt to get out and exercise, I came home and played some poker online. I played a one table sit-n-go tournament (where you just wait for 9 players to sit down and you go, hence the name.) I got knocked out with my pocket kings vs. ace queen when he caught an ace on the river to bust me. I wasn’t upset, though, because I made the right decision on the play, and he just got lucky. I’ve noticed that when I play at limits I can really afford and I just focus on being decision (rather than result) oriented, I always have a good time and I’m much happier playing, whether I win or lose.

I was talking about this revelation with my friends CJ and Alan, when CJ talked me into playing a three table (27 player) sit-n-go. I had some time to kill while I waited for Anne and Ryan to get home, and Nolan was asleep on the couch (so no guitar hero) so I signed up and played my little heart out.

Dude, I totally won! It only cost $11 to enter, and I won $100 for first place! I was extremely happy with all the decisions I made, including when I made a four-card diamond flush with AT to suckout on a guy who had AA, then fell on the other side of that hand when I was heads-up at the end, with JJ vs something totally lame like T3 suited and he caught a diamond on the end to make his flush. Go me again again!

Anne and Ryan got home right after I finished that tourney, and she wanted to take a nap (yeah, I have a real nap-happy family) so Ryan and I went over to the movie theatre to watch Silent Hill.

I’ve played about 40% of Silent Hill 2, but I didn’t have any expectations for the film, really, and mostly went because Ryan really wanted to see it (he can’t see R-rated films on his own for another four months. Excuse me while I process that reality and have a minor heart attack.)

I really, really liked it. It looks very creepy and spooky (just like the game) and the visual effects are really fantastic. The monsters (especially Red Pyramid and all the bugs) are terrifying, the music is great, the casting is perfect, and though the whole thing requires a some suspension of disbelief, the story is quite solid. In fact, about halfway through the movie, I thought to myself, "Man, this is really quite deep for a horror movie. I wonder why?" When the credits rolled and I saw that it had been written by Roger Avary, I totally understood. Go Roger.

After the movie, we came home and the entire family settled in for some Simpsons (fairly funny, but the over-reliance on musical montages this season is really getting on my nerves) Family Guy (more Stewie-as-gymnast, please) and American Dad (I don’t know how they made an entire episode about anal probing hilarious, but they did) before the rest of my family went to sleep, leaving me to read Cell in alone in the living room where the zombies can totally get me. I eventually watched Survivorman (my new favorite show on cable television) before drifting off to sleep, blissfully content at the end of a fun-filled weekend.

46 thoughts on “twenty-one to twenty-three: seventy-two hours of hawesome”

  1. Now THAT (pain from running aside) is a great weekend!
    Now I’m assuming since you’re asking your readers for diagnoses that a real doctor has been consulted and he/she doesn’t have a clue as to what’s going on?! I have never experienced this myself…so I got nothing. But hopefully someone else will be able to shed some light on it for you.

  2. As someone who is suffering from a inflammation of the joints that typically starts at the hips and shoulders (the ball type joints), I might recommend that you discuss arthritis with your PCP (primarily care provider). Yeah, yeah, I know you are only 33, and a macho male, but please consider it.
    Otherwise — what a hawsome weekend!

  3. You know, I don’t know where the young’uns get the o.k. to bend the laws of time & space like that. One day they are little and the next day they’re driving the car. It’s only weird because we grown-ups don’t age a day…
    Silent Hill – yeaaaaah. I’ll see that…with my Dad – because Pyramid Head freaks me out. Not in a “he’s gonna get me” of way but in a “why does he do THAT to – things?!” kind of way.
    That pain in your side sounds like a “stitch”. My boyfriend’s mom says that (she’s from North Carolina). That’s totally weird, but it does sound like one of those “Hooray for my 30′s!” kind of pains. Maybe you need better support in your shoes? I don’t run (unless I am being chased) but I used to get that pain when I ran TOO much when I was younger.
    That’s GREAT news about the Legion of Superheros! I so totally hope you get that gig! I think you’ll be great. Have you ever thought of doing the English dubs of anime or video games? I reckon you would kick ass and take some names!
    OH – I am psyched that Boston is go! There’s a Dave & Busters in Boston as well. They have video games AND beer – can you have the reading there?
    (you know you want to!)

  4. See a chiropractor, if you have a good one and go for that sort of thing. I’ve had aches like that, and for me, it’s usually caused by lower vertebrae being out of whack.
    Good luck with LoS!

  5. Fantastic weekend!!! go you!! way to kick arse in poker, way to watch silent hill (which is an awesome game) and shitty about the stitch in your side.
    but then yaay for family guy. thats a freakin funny show:)

  6. Ok, I live in this really crap town in Ontario, Canada called Brantford (I live here, so I can call it crap). Anyway, they filmed Silent Hill here. I was ecstatic about it because I played Silent Hill 2. The film guys were awesome and let us wander around set off hours. I had my picture taken in front of Woodside Apartments. Our downtown is totally deserted, so it was perfect. I haven’t seen the movie yet because it’s competing with hockey playoff time here, but hopefully this weekend I’ll get out to see it.
    Anyway, I just wanted to share that I live over the bridge from Silent Hill and I keep sharing this with people, but no one gets it.

  7. There’s a decent chance that the pain you are experiencing is related to the amount of sitting you are doing. Try a different sitting position, or standing (or kneeling) while using the computer. Even a few days of decreased pressure on the back of your upper thighs might help you out.

  8. Wil – good luck with the Legion audition. I don’t know how the voice actor auditions work, but since they’ve already started production on Season 1, it sounds to me like your audition would probably be for a recurring role and not a regular one.
    If you could voice any Legionnaire or villain, who would be your dream job? The voices for Superboy, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, and Timber Wolf are already spoken for (we don’t know who the other regular, Bouncing Boy, is yet).
    The rest of what’s been made public about the Legion show can be found at the Legion Omnicom.

  9. I have a similar pain when I run. It’s sort of a cramp in my side… but it goes away after I get used to the exercise. In my case, I believe it extends from having Asthma… but all I could do was slowly ramp up to the level of exercise I wanted to perform. Extra stretching, slow jogging or just walking… and eventually the pain mostly went away.
    I agree with everyone else though, definitely go to your doctor when you’re able, and see what he or she says.
    And, definitely good luck with Legion. :) This is the first I’ve heard of it.

  10. I get the pissed off thing, believe me. I promised my daughter that this year I would do the 5k with her, since her Dad and Brother always leave her behind. Unfortunately I had to have surgery on my ankle, and I just know I am not going to be able to do it (the race is May 6th). Guess we will just walk it.
    Baseball *sigh* our Minor league team doesn’t start until the end of June.
    Reading Cell in the dark after everyone had gone to bed is how I did it too….has your phone rung yet while you were doing it? I thought I was going to have a heart attack. And I didn’t answer it!
    And unfortunately I am going to have to second Evalucent’s post, that you might want to have a qualified person (not your blog friends) test for Arthrits. My Brother in Law has been a runner all his life and recently has been diagnosed with arthritis in one hip. The only plus is that he may not have to go back to Iraq because of it.
    Take Care

  11. Hi Wil:
    My father is a super hard-core runner and I have been around marathons my whole life – it really does sound like a side stitch (of course, if you’re worried, check with a doctor). Quick relief (hopefully) should come with pressing your abdomen in the center of the pain and blowing out very forcefully (like puffing up your cheeks and blowing out like you’re playing the trumpet). If it is a side stitch, then it is a result of breathing too shallowly. To prevent, breathe more deeply (I know it’s easier to say than do). Also, they say more ab work helps support the diaphram and prevent these things. Hope that helps and that it is just a stitch. And I hope you’re able to have fun with the training – it’s a great thing!
    all the best -

  12. Wil,
    I can’t believe that you haven’t asked Bill Frist. I’m pretty sure he could give you an extensive diagnosis from your description.
    I hope he can help you…
    Shay

  13. I agree with wendy, sounds like you are not getting enough oxygen to the muscles. BUT-what the hell do I know? I’m not a doctor.
    I think you rock, Wil. I’ve been reading your blog intermittently for a year or so and never felt worthy to comment.(Dare I admit I’m a TNG fan? A TNG fan who loved Wesley Crusher?)
    Enjoy your folks while you have them. Trust me, I miss mine soooo very much.

  14. I’m a horrible horrible hypochondriac and practically have webmd on speedtype. I typed in “radiating pain from hip and side while running” and only got one result: “fibromyalgia”
    My mom has this in her legs and it’s just awful to hear her talk about it. Here’s just a couple of paragraphs of what it says about this:
    “Based on the research findings of twenty clinical investigators throughout the United States and Canada, in 1990 the American College of Rheumatology established guidelines for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The guidelines are simple: widespread aching that lasts more than three months and local tenderness at eleven of eighteen specified sites. Laboratory tests and x-rays are not required to establish a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
    Pain is the foremost symptom of fibromyalgia. It occurs in the soft tissue and has been described as burning, gnawing, sore, stiff, shooting, deep aching, or radiating. The pain may vary in intensity according to the time of day, weather, activity level, stress, and sleep patterns. Usually a person is stiff upon awakening and may hurt all over to the point of being unable to function normally. Muscle spasms and cramping, more common at night, often keep a person from sleeping soundly.”
    There’s more there and I don’t know if this fits but you could take a look at the rest of it and see if any of it rings a bell…
    http://www.webmd.com/content/article/6/1680_51250.htm
    I’m glad to hear you had a great weekend though :)

  15. Wil’s coming to Boston/Cambridge! (See w00t! post)
    Hey everyone – would love to plan a pre-Wheaton visit event (involving much brew of course) in Cambridge.
    If you want in, drop me a line at aubreeann”at”mac.com **please put “Wil” in the subject-thx**
    I’ll put something together around the time of Wil’s visit and email you all.

  16. “Why can’t my fucking body just work?!”
    I can really empathise with that frustration. I was just asking that very question, this morning. Saturday, I (walked) a 5K in full kendo armor and was totally fine, and then last night, the arthritis in my back and hip kicked in, and I was literally stuck on the couch for two hours. o_O

  17. “See a chiropractor?” That’s terrible advice wwphx. Practicing deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth while running was what our coach use to tell us when we ran cross country. It still helps me today 30 years later. Over the hill, and through the woods…

  18. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart.
    Seriously, go see a doctor.
    Congratulations on the job! I went through a phase around four or five years old where Aquaman was my favorite superhero. Have I mentioned that I seem to always like the stuff everyone else finds lame? At least I never had to fight on the playground for the right to play the guy who could talk to fish.
    I like the larger tournaments. When I was playing with fake money on ps, I always preferred the 45 player games. My wife didn’t like how long they took though.
    Let us know what you thought of “Cell”. I read the first few pages while waiting in the checkout line the other day. I’ve always liked the world coming to an end type stories (especially the part where the coming-to-an-end is actually happening).

  19. Wil, Do you have a problem with slouching or back pain? If so, I’d get your back looked at.
    My husband has scoliosis (too lazy to spell check) and I have Kyphosis (think hunch back of notre dame. Again too lazy for spell check). Luckily, both of our backs have been surgically corrected.
    Your symptoms are reminicent of our old P.E. days at school. Trust a gimp like me (I also have a rather severe form of arthritis, and I’m only 23). If you need a list of terrific doctors, I’ll hook you up.

  20. Don’t you know never to ask for health advice on the internet? But, since you asked… go to the doc, make sure there’s not something really wrong. Better yet, go to an osteopath that espouses spinal adjustment. Then if that doesn’t work see a “medical” massage therapist- IOW, a therapist who is trained in soft-tissue assessment. You could have a slight spinal misalignment, in which case the osteopath could pick it up, or you could have triggerpoints causing spasms on exertion. Sucks, but chances are it’ll be easy to treat once you figure out what’s going on.
    Good luck!

  21. Hm. Read recently that if you breathe in (or was it out) when your right foot hits the ground it creates stress on your liver (or whatever) which can cause the hurt. Belting out a classic show tune may help, but there is no medical evidence to support that theory.

  22. I had that very same problem about 4 years ago. It happened in my right side and radiated from my hip. Turned out to be something called Sciatica. It’s a swelling of the Sciatic nerve in the nerve sheath. The Sciatic Nerve is the biggest nerve in your body…the little booger is about the size of a finger. It runs through a hole in the right side of your hip. When the nerve gets pinched in some way, voila…Sciatica. It can also run down your right leg and make your foot go numb. The treatment is to rest the nerve and let it calm down. Then, you have to find out what is pinching the nerve. In my case, it was a pair of heel straighteners that I was putting in my shoes. They threw my body alignment off and pinched the nerve. It happened everytime I tried to run. I now wear these things called Orthodics. They are specially made inserts that go into your shoes. They make your body as naturally straight as possible. Check out a Chiropractor and ask about getting yourself lined up.
    Good luck!
    BTW – I’m totally pain free now.

  23. Everyone talking about that kind of pain being related to spinal alignment really gets me thinking. I haven’t been able to run a block since the beginning of high school, which is coincidentally (or so I thought) when I started wearing a 50 lb snare drum every day, for sometimes 8 hours straight (which I admit, is not very smart for a 100 lb girl to do). I’ve had chronic back pain for years, but I’ve been nervous about seeing a chiropractor because frankly, I’m a starving college student. Now I’m thinking I should, as should you.

  24. Another day in the life of an exciting Hollywood movie star. And *that*, my friends, is why we keep coming back here, day after day, to read this blog: because it so is not. And is so much better as a result. Go, Wil. :-)

  25. You are getting old. Old. Old. Old. Old. Accept it. Embrace it. The only thing you can do is put your hand on your back and mutter “Tarnation!” and complain about all those whipper-snappers passing you by.
    But look on the bright sides. Soon you’ll be able to tell the weather without using Wunderground.

  26. This has nothing to do with this post, but are you going to put out another Radio Free Burrito anytime soon? I really enjoy it, and I think it’s a shame that there’s just so few episodes of it.

  27. Sounds like a good weekend. I was at Penguicon this weekend, and one of the panelists asked, “So, did anybody expect Wil Wheaton to just show up unannounced?”

  28. Ahh Survivorman. Never listen to a thing he does in the earlier episodes, unless you want to die. My dad taught survival skills for years, and I was cringing at some of the dumb crap he did. (Like wading into a river with all his clothes on, including his boots…smrt) But it IS an interesting show. In one episode he complained of not being able to sleep because all these crabs were coming out of the water and crawling all over him…of course, he didn’t actually catch any to eat…

  29. Grats on the voice acting gig Wil.. perhaps this is the first of many.. and we your fans see your comeback (we don’t care even if its just tv, we want you back)
    I totally feel your pain, I had to go to the doctor about my back hip and leg pain. She told me I had injured my left sciatic nerve, the bigges nerve in the body.. So yea I am in pain right now.. it is excruciating.. so I will be starting my physical therapy soon. Oh well, pain pills are kicking in.. here’s to both of us getting better soon.

  30. Wil,
    It’s been said twice already, but your running problem does sound like a Sciatic nerve thing.
    Since the discomfort and pain is so totally disproportionate to what you’re doing to your body, I think it’s very like some nerve thing. My father had Sciatic nerve trouble when I was young; he ended up more or less in bed for several weeks so that they pain wasn’t killing him.
    Now that doesn’t tell you the _cause_, but I think that’s a likely effect.
    Hope you find out what it is, and it’s not serious.
    Take care,
    Craig Steffen

  31. Wil,
    I relaly hope you talk in more detail about Cell.
    I finished it about a month ago and have never been more disappointed in a book.
    I won’t say why or discuss anything with you until you’re done but if you like it, I need to know WHY, for the love of God, why?
    The rest of you… WHY?

  32. I have found that with running cramps keeping potassium levels up works to prevent them. Since you can’t walk it out…right? I like the old thing too. It could be fibromyalgia? I love that one. Have a banana..keep you fluids up. Be careful with that body only 7 years until 40!

  33. well hopefully you get to do more than just one show! don’t forget to let us know when it’s gonna air. oh and i donno if you really like voice overs but if so my cousin is on this new show class of 3000 that sounds really fun to be on. her name is janice kawaye. robert beltran knows who she is. anyways…if you want to know more about class of 3000 let me know. [email protected]

  34. Legion of Superheros? That’s totally fucking awesome. Definately break a leg on that one! I’m hard to sell on video game movies though considering what you said about Silent Hill, I may just have to buck up and go see it. My partner on Bastards of Horror, Tim, is excited about it, but then again he does own the Leprechaun boxed set.

  35. Hey Wil,
    Two suggestions:
    1. See a chiropractor (and ignore people who say “don’t do what so-and-so said”). I got to the bottom of a similar mystery pain with the help of a chiropractor when doctors had a fat lot of nothing.
    2. Check out a book called “Pain Erasure” by Bonnie Prudden. Might help, might not … but it helped me once I had the right track from the chiropractor.
    Good luck!
    –Ian

  36. Wil, you are breathing too deeply. It usually happens on the right side, right? What is happening is the classical side ache. They suck big time. I would get them quite often when I was in high school. I was a distance runner. 2 mile, to be exact.
    Be careful to not breath deeply with your stomach. That causes the diaphragm to rub against the rib. Try to focus on breathing more with your lungs instead of your stomach.
    Oh, and stretching. More stretching to the right and the left in a standing position.

  37. Wil-
    If you like Survivorman, something tells me you will grok Parkour (www.parkour.com) Interesting philosophy, insane level of commitment with high level of risk of personal injury.
    If you bite on that, search youtube for Parkour and you will find a lot of interesting videos.
    -Dman

  38. This is just a personal opinion, but the last thing that someone who thinks they have a back problem should do is see a chiropractor. They can do a lot more harm than good. If you think you have back problems, go see an orthopaedist. Have them take an X-ray (for bones) or an MRI (for nerves) so that they can actually see what is going on inside of you. I know so many people who have had horrifying and lasting problems because they saw a chiropractor. My personal chiropractor experience was that I never used to get headaches until seeing one.

  39. Your description sounds like a exam question from a final I just completed (I’m in school for massage therapy).
    Pain from the side of your hip doesn’t sound like sciatic pain… that would be more posterior. Also doesn’t sound like back pain from your description… more like a referred (spreading beyond the point of origin) muscle spasm.
    You didn’t mention what your warm-up routine was. I would try warming up with a brisk walk and then some extensive stretching of your hip flexors… they could be shortened from sitting from extended periods. I’m sure you could find some decent stretching routines online.
    A good massage therapist or physical therapist who is experienced in PNF stretching (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated stretching) could probably assist you with a comprehensive stretching routine.
    I’m 33 as well, and all that means is that you’re not going to be able to jump in and out of your activities the way you did when you were 20. Proper preparation and care after activity will prevent a multitude of aches and pains.
    If the pain is severe and prolonged or if it interferes with more than exertion, then you should definitely see a doctor.
    Best wishes and good luck!

  40. Here are a couple running website resources that offer some guidance on hip and side pain:
    Side pain: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,5033,s6-78-79-0-7178,00.html
    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/227.shtml
    hip pain: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,5033,s6-78-79-0-7935,00.html
    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/193.shtml
    Have you been fitted for running shoes recently? There are different types like motion control shoes for folks with flat arches and cushioning shoes for folks with high arches. The right fit can make a big difference in your biomechanics when running. I would also agree that a proper warmup and stretching – even on your off days – can make a difference.
    Ultimately you are the best judge of your pain and what’s happening, so don’t hestitate to seek professional help if it seems warranted.
    Good luck from a fellow TNTer also training for San Diego!

  41. OMG I just finished Cell and I loved it. I would love to discuss what you think of the ending.
    When you talk about the Dodgers you sound just like me talking about my beloved Mets. I face every lead in every game with the thought “I wonder how we will blow this”.
    I still think you should swing down to NYC after Boston.

  42. As a comic book geek and cartoon fan, let me say a HUGE congratulations on scoring a voice role in Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes. Good luck!
    -Jordan

  43. Hmmm. Sounds like you are pregnant. (I have started over-identifying just a teeeeensy bit.) Seriously, could be sciatica or pressure on the lower vertibrae (which could be caused by pregnancy). A chiropractor could definitely fix the latter, and could at least diagnose the former.

  44. As a runner on the injured list, I’d agree with getting your shoes fitted, talk to a physical therapist or massage therapist, then a chiropractor if needed.
    Grats on the super-hero gig. Hope it’s long term.

  45. My friend had unexplained side cramps while running and then figured out it was due to not strengthening her stomache muscles. She sits all day which causes her stomache muscles to go weak. She is going to do ab crunches and sit ups to strengthen that area. This is her theory. She is not a doctor and neither am I, but it sounds plausible.

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