Saturday, November 10, 2012
Ok, I am already back from my first ride. Having visited several shops this week, many hours of internet research and asking everyone for advise, I ended up purchasing a bike today.
Hubby and I already went out for a little ride.
I bought a full suspension mountain bike. We sawed off the handle bars to narrow them up for my shoulders and helps my wrists. We added height for the handle bars. Disk breaks like Kayotic recommended...(They are GREAT!)
We opted for full suspension due t my back hardware. I plan on riding on road and trail, so the full suspension will really reduce the impact of all those bumps.
Its not a carbon light bike, but aluminum and light enough. (About 27 lbs)
The shocks are heavy and my wheels are too. I figure later maybe I can purchase a light set of wheels if I really start riding super long rides.
First I will have to see if the seat I bought will work. as I expected, the seat is the trickiest part. So, I will log my miles and build up slowly.
Back and knees felt perfect.
Needless to say, I am pretty stoked.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Ok, so today I continued my internet research regarding bikes. Thoroghly overwhelemd, I took the advise of my friend Cassie and headed out to a real bike store.
The sales guy was actually very helpful. Small steps were taken.
I have decided that the low rode bike handle bars are probably not an option.
Due to my long legs, shorter torso, a women's frame is a must.
Options I am really interested in and trouble by how to balance or choose are the shocks vs road efficiency. Considering all my joint issues, it seems the shocks for both teh front fork and seat post might be important over the long haul.
I need the ability to ride independently and on my own schedule (meaning, if I were to rise in teh hills, I am not going alone, I'll take a buddy) But most of the time, a buddy is not a practice option, so much of my riding will be road or very public trails. Some of he best road bike options have no shocks options.
My hubby and son, prefer dirt bike trails, and I cannot see myself doing any aggressive trail riding. But some dirt trails might be fun.
And...I would Really prefer not to have 2 bikes...1 bike.
So maybe a hybrid that will suit both needs with changeable tires.
The saddle issue is a whole other story. But butt blister is surface healed, but not gone. My sits bone is still sore.
Learned more about how this happened on the stupid gym seats...
education is a good thing.
So, I will research and go to another store tomorrow and see what I learn.
Step by step.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Well, now I am very confused what the next step should be. So I will blog until I find a path.
OK, for 30+ years, I could not ride a bike, due to an un-repaired fractured back. I walked, hiked, gardened etc to maintain my back for the duration.
Jan 2012 I had no option and had VERY successful back surgery.
After 5 months of PT, a knee injury was revealed as well requiring a surgical repair.
OK...Here it is early Nov.
I have completed all PT.
I have ridden a stationary bike 3-5 days a week the first many months, and increased after knee surgery to 5-7 days.
I also increased from 5 miles/ride, to 10 miles 2x/week, then by Mid sept 10 miles 5 days/week.
October I tried my first 20 mile ride.
Last week I rode 20 miles 5 days out of 7.
OK...so these rides were on a neighbors, stationary recumbent bike. At PT, I rode upright 2-3 x/week.
OK...my neighbors came home, (No more house sitting and borrowing their bike) and I promised I'd move off to the gym for my rides, which I did.
The gym bikes are gross.
Wet as one rider hops off and folks 'fight' for a bike.
I have wiped off seats, handles etc.
I have been wearing my clean gym pants and shower and wash pants every day, right after.
I got a blister on my bum last Friday. (After riding my 5th 20 mile ride) Teensy
blister, but a blister.
OK, I have a gel seat that fits the spinning bike seats.
(Impossible to get in spin class during day apparently)
This gel seat does not fit these other stationary bike seats.
So, now I am nursing my bottom and its healing just fine.
I am obsessively trying to uncover a plan for what to do next.
I am trying to ride the bike, as a main exercise to save my knee. (I used to walk like crazy, not sure if I can do that now, just some times)
Options seem to be the obvious,
1.Ride upright or recumbent bike at gym. (Germ issue)
2. Purchase new bike and move outside (No evidence my wrists can hold up to much of this)
3. Modify my old bike, add new seat and/gel seat , on trainer (we have this almost ready to use already, but my neighbor burns horrible wood all winter and I cannot breathe safely outside on my deck)
4. Move trainer bike, inside my house and use it there...WHERE? I have a very tiny home, seriously.
5. Change gyms, where they have cleaner bikes, more spin class options.
I LOVE being outside. This would be preferable. I hate the idea of spending all the money for a new bike and finding my wrists cannot hold up. Hmmm.
Lots of questions.
And my frustration has revealed itself.
Guess I will have to keep working through this until a solution, or many solutions are more apparent.
But persist I will, not to worry.
I am at the same time that I write this very excited I have no fitness issue with riding many miles. Just gotta get the bum figured out...lol.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
OK...I know one of my best knacks (due to Lupus, Sjogrens and Hashimotos- 3 different autoimmune diseases), is Inflammation, at every new phase or experience in my life, I have to relearn how this will affect me now.
Over and over...
Last January as many of you know I had back fusion surgery. All has gone remarkably well. Doc says I am somewhat of a poster child. I AM grateful for this aspect of my recovery.
For 30-sih years there were certain exercises for core development I could not due. This was because it put my vertebrae shifted and touching my spinal cord, causing excruciating pain and numbness. So, I and my body learned how to avoid risky movements.
Good news...now my spine is stable , spinal cord protected. My program now, is to strengthen and balance my core development. All seems simple...just work.
So every day I do my walking and exercises and stretches.
When I keep my program within all teh movements I have been ab;e to do for years (like walking), I am fine. when I 'step it up' and add new movements to improve me strength, inflammation is produced. This is a normal step for everyone...I just exaggerate the affect due to Lupus...I add big time inflammation. So, Seldom do I work hard enough exercise wise to make my muscles sore, therefore strengthen. But I do aggravate my joints and create inflammation and have to back off.
Yup...you guessed it...frustrating. All of this is with the supervision of a highly trained /educated PT. The first time it happened, he made a teensy change in my ab work to a real-ish baby crunch. My back went into horrible spasm and we have been able to reproduced it several times over 12 weeks. Next was my knee... he wanted to begin my balance. He had me doing 'standing on one foot' baby exercises and it stressed my knees. Sheesh...resulting in backing off from teh exercises and icing therapy.
Now this week, he had me using a Pilates machine , pushing with my feet, one at a time, in a new way to better target abductor and adductor muscles. Day 3...Inflammation Set in big time. Kept me up most of the night...part discomfort...part mental frustration.
So, I am the master of icing...icing...icing. 'sigh'
The obvious might seem, "Well, take an NSAID !!!"
I cannot due to the fusion bone growth I am trying to accomplish. Cannot even apply localized NSAID creme.
So...this morning I am remembering again...seriously...again...
with Autoimmune disease, I must work at steps forward with stealthly finesse. Sneak it by my body, so it doesn't notice and then react. (Lesson#1)
In years past when I was in serious training programs, I would systematically step up my program..baby steps and pre-load with NSAIDS to I didn't over-react and production huge inflammation. This way I could keep building muscle and moving forward...methodically.
So...here's my 'revelation' of sorts...
If this sneaky way of baby steps and pre-loading with NSAIDS is the only successful way I have progressed my training in the past, why do I think I can do this now and ignore what I have learned before?
If I am supposed to avoid all NSAIDS for 1-2 years, till my fusion is complete and secure, how do I work on my core and therefore develop new muscles to support my back with new exercises?
I know...this sounds like a 'rant'. Sorry.
Lessons are hard.
(Oh, ya...and I am icing my feet for the second time today. ) So, I had to do something. LOL.
YA...I am be a poster child cause I got up and walked the same day as I have a 7.5 hour surgery. I may be a poster child cause I was walking 6 miles per day by day 12 after surgery. But this my body knew how to do...walk, walk, walk.
Now moving forward from 'here' is apparently where the real work lies.
And I am not clear yet how to make this real work happen.
This I 'know'... (Lesson #2)
I won't give up. I see the patterns ... take too big a step, (even if they seem small), and it causes inflammation, stop, ice...wait...then re-boot.
Just the way it is.
My strength , is in not giving up. So, I must keep my eye on the 'glass half full'.
Taking a deep breath.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
This weekend has been hard.
I know , life will always have its moments when I ask why , or think yet again...'its not fair'. The thoughts raise the regular questions, of course.
Friday I received the news of the death of one of 'my 4H youth. His death has really impacted me, not more than expected, but comes a little too close to home for me.
This young man turned 30 this week (yes...I know, not a kid...but I met him when he was) Greg was a brilliant yet very different person. He reminded me of my older son, so of course I gravitated to him.
He , this week was in his last year working toward his PhD at UC Berkeley . Oher 4H youth, noticed he had gone 'off grid', and for him this was VERY unusual. So a few of our CA State folks , all about his age, drove to his paratment from other cities, called teh police and their worst fears realized.
Greg worked for our Statewide program for many years, supporting the tech development of 4H, here and then teh entire nation followed. He is the 'father ' of our state 4H web site and most other state used our model.
But, Greg was different. And a loner...brilliant, but alone. Our society sort of has expectations that everyone will grow up, marry, have kids, fit into a model of society where he could see a way he'd ever fit. Sad.
Guess, after having had my own life experiences with a loved one loose hope, this has really 'hit' me.
I spent some time yesterday AM chatting with the Mom of a young man who drove to Greg's home. Steven has been very affected by this and will continue. So many questions, guilt, ...you know...all the expected 'stuff'.
But, having gone through what I have with my own son...I think...we still have much to learn as a society.
Many already say..."why" , "He shouldn't have", "He had no right", you know what folks say.
But my son taught me to view this differently. I am not saying I know what is right or wrong...I am just saying I feel different;y than I used to.
First off, we don't know how Greg died yet...its just very likely suicide.
And, if Greg had had cancer, and had made the decision to refuse chemo or radiation, most people today would 'understand' if he decided the pain was just too much. With mental illness and suicide, there seems to be much more judgement.
Greg had no known 'mental illness', but he was very 'different' and obviously was experiencing pain. He made a decision.
This past week in the news was yet another story about a gay young man who took his life and there will be judgement in his situation.
When I walked my journey with my son, after he attempted suicide, but survived, I came to places never expected.
Almost impossible, but one day I was able to tell my son, "If ever I learn you have again attempted suicide, and are even successful, please know, I will not judge. It is impossible for me to know your pain. I want you to live a long and fulfilling life. But it is your life, not mine. I love you and always will."
This is the hardest thing I have ever done. But it also seems to have given him more life. Seriously. To know, I love him enough, to let go. To love him enough to trust him with his own life. To love him so much I won't judge. Hard.
It seems there are so many people, who feel there is no natural place for them to reside in society.
My son, will never be like me or anything close. But his differences don't invalidate him or reduce his value. Exactly the opposite. He too is one of the most brilliant people who have graced this earth. His mind works differently. I think how his mind is different, contributes to his brilliance.
I am sad. I know, I will move on...but today I have spent time in my garden alone, thinking about all these people who feel different, like they don't belong and loose hope, or get tired trying to be more like 'us'.
Thank you for reading this blog. I am sorry it was so serious.
Please, if you know someone who is 'different', take the extra moment to let them know they matter.
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