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I sit at my table listening to Max Richter’s From Sleep spilling out of the kids’ room. I’ve just sweated out a brutal fever. I went to bed with a sore throat last night, woke up with its big brother, and went to class feeling like a zombie. After two doses of DayQuil, a short nap with one eye open and hours shivering beneath a furry blanket too short for my legs, I’m feeling like Frankenstein instead of Dracula at high noon. It’s a start. In this delirium, I bring to you a valiant attempt to convey what’s on my mind and in my heart. I’ve just finished The Count of Monte Cristo, and man was it good. I highly recommend it.

This week has been a rough blur to be quite honest. After a winter break of lazing around mostly nursing a loud knee, I had a couple two-a-days last week that shot me into a world of soreness I had forgotten existed. But, I felt good. I felt strong. Then, Saturday night during a frenzy-filled bartending shift, I planted my right knee and bent slightly to grab a bottle of water out of an ice bath. In that moment, I faced a terror I’d only imagined before: I felt as though there was a rubberband about to snap in my right knee. It sent a shock of pain in all directions and felt weak. Then, it  caught fire. I staggered to a wall, regained my sanity, and took 30 seconds to meditate myself back into my body. I took note of everything else going on, felt the discomfort dissipating, and carried on with work. For the next half hour, I moved around as cautiously as an injured cavalier – the ballet had to go on. The pain did not return, and I went home a million times more conscious of a hinge-type friend.

The following morning, I began a flexibility program and began the process of getting it checked out. It may sound risky to begin a program instead of nursing it, but I honestly feel as though it is begging me to strengthen it. I don’t consider myself a risk-taker in the conventional sense. I’m not reckless (anymore). However, I attack unconventionally, and sometimes that means appearing foolhardy to those around me. I think I’m okay with that. The knee is feeling as good as it did before that moment, and I am constantly checking myself to make sure I don’t mistreat it. Of course, getting advice from a professional (which I will certainly take) is the next step. It was in this process of problem solving that the fever hit. I sit here at my table trying to write through it instead of bailing out and lying down. I think I see a pattern here…

Raul

My name is Raul Torrento. I am a local, born in DC proper and raised in the area (Aspen Hill, Springfield, DC, Falls Church, Annandale). Music, gymnastic strength training, and Muay Thai are just a few things I enjoy. I also have a slackline and a skateboard. Those get used.

I am a lover of complete and total physical and mental exertion. Finding new ways to achieve that panting glory is what keeps me spry. Music is something I’ve always loved, since my hands first touched the congas at age 4. A father of three, I appreciate every little moment I remember to focus on – because they tend to pass by in a blur as a result of trying to keep up with them. I don’t take myself too seriously, instead I focus on the importance of my work – whether that’s practicing a tuck handstand, fine tuning an L-sit, finding a new groove on my bass, nailing a new recipe, or whipping up a classic cocktail for a complete stranger. Oh yeah – I’m a bartender too. More importantly, I am a student. Of everything. Forever.

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