May 02, 2001

the hands of the mummy


Since coming back home and back to rowing, I have been going through so much skin tape that my local drugstore employees may think Iím into bondage. Hell, maybe I am, but itís self bondage -- I only tape up my own hands and feet. For some reason, I seem to be attracted to pursuits that just wreck my hands, from gymnastics in high school (ripped flaps of skin with chalk ground in) to guitar in college (calluses on the fingertips) to rock climbing (rips flaps of skin with chalk ground in, plus scrapes, abrasions, and very tired hands) to rowing (ripped flaps of skin (but no chalk), peeling calluses, and blisters). I donít know how rowers who sleep with nonrowers keep from grossing them out. Tís hands are rougher than mine, so thatís not a problem, but we do have to be careful -- sharp edges of skin can hurt!

I have gotten good at taping my hands -- the tape has to be tight enough to stay put, loose enough to let joints bend. The hardest spot to tape is ripped-off calluses at the base of fingers -- I end up going around the whole palm, then a couple of strips between the fingers, then more around the palm to hold that on. The strips between the fingers keeps the around-the-hand part from sliding down my palm. This results in about 2í of tape used to cover an owie the size of a kernel of corn, but itís the only way I know to get the tape to stay put. Finger blisters are much easier; just wrap tape around the finger a few times.

I only wear tape while rowing, to avoid further damage or pain; if I need to cover spots during the rest of the time, either to prevent pain or to keep Neosporin on so it heals faster, band-aids work well enough, and are much less conspicuous. T, on the other hand, seems to enjoy wearing taped hands to work, presumably to show how hard-core he is. (Since he hasnít taken a break, his hands are tougher than mine, but do still blister when he switches between sweep and sculling.)

I havenít had to tape my feet for awhile, but my hands still often look like something out of a horror flick. The Mummy, to be precise.

Posted by dichroic at May 2, 2001 06:31 PM
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