It started to warm up this week – the forecast called for several days in the low 50’s, warm enough to get back on the bike. I have to admit that I am a serious weather wimp – I don’t like to be cold and I don’t like the layers needed to stay warm on a cool day. The result is that I only ride from May to September.
The only winter exercise I really enjoy is downhill skiing, which is much too equipment and travel intensive to be done frequently to provide regular exercise. This year Carolyn and I decided not to ski because we were worried about getting hurt and screwing up our bike ride. I was getting a bit of exercise by walking the steps at work, but that aggravated the pain I’ve been having in my right foot, so I gave up stair walking to give it a chance to heal.
I have no idea what I did to my right foot. It just started hurting last fall. Our friends have been helpful trying to diagnose it based on their own aches and pains. Stress fracture? Plantar fasciitis? Gout? I really should have gone to a doctor about it, and I didn’t.
Then there’s my shoulder problem … which starts to hurt whenever I’m on the bike for a long period of time. Not at all pleasant, it feels like someone is stabbing me in the back with a hot soldering iron. I saw a massage therapist last fall and he helped tremendously. Even better, he gave me an idea of what was causing the pain, and exercises I could do to make it go away – which would be great if I had actually done them.
Last (and least) there is my ankle problem, which started back in college when I decided to train for a marathon by running on the beach. I gave up soccer a few years ago because every time I played, the ankle pain flared up. Then it took longer for the pain to go away than the time between soccer games. Sigh. At least that one isn’t a problem on the bike.
So, between not skiing to avoid new injuries, and not stair walking to baby an existing injury, I got seriously out of shape this winter, even more than usual. I was really proud of losing 12 pounds last summer by riding hard, but I regained every one of those pounds this winter. And it wasn’t nearly as hard to gain them back as it was to lose them in the first place.
Meanwhile, while I spent last summer riding hard to get in shape, Carolyn spent last summer watching old movies on TV. It wasn’t her choice – she usually can’t stop moving. But she had developed osteonecrosis in her right knee, and 2 doctors told her the best way to handle this problem was to JUST STOP MOVING. But she has a really hard time with that, so she swam and kayaked and did as much as she could without using her right leg. But now she has chronic pain in that knee, which is not quite the same as the pain she has in her left knee, which was the aftermath of a torn ACL in 2002.
Getting old sucks.