Saturday, February 12, 2011

Now, Back to Our Show

So, it looks like I took a little break there. Heh. The problem with breaks is not so much the break as it is the starting up again. As you can imagine, not only did I take a break from blogging, but I pretty much took a break from the whole run, swim, bike thing too.

And, funnily enough, I started feeling way more aches and pains while NOT exercising. Weird huh?

First I developed this thing called achilles enthesitis, the main symptom of which was my achilles feeling like it was rubber band about to snap at any moment. The podiatrist told me to stay off my feet for six weeks, use a heel lift (or even to wear heels, if I owned any which I do not), and especially to STOP walking up and down the D.C. Metro escalator, which had pretty much become my only form of daily exercise since I moved in April of 2010. I might not be running, biking or swimming, but at least I was walking up those damn escalators twice a day!

But no. Turns out that was hurting more than helping.

Nothing for it but to fully embrace couch potato-hood, which in the dead of a D.C. winter, wasn't all that hard to do.

But I started feeling the old stirrings. I actually missed moving. Who knew?

The only thing I was really allowed to do was swim, so I mustered up all my courage (because, when you last left your heroine, she pretty much had grown to hate and detest swimming).

But the new, improved Not Born to Run has a new philosophy: No, not "Just Do It." More like, "Just Do What You Can."

I like it!

Thus mentally prepared for all contingencies, I got in the lovely 50-meter D.C. public Wilson pool (1 short mile from home), and did whatever I could. 100 m kick, 100 m pull, some flippers, a few meandering freestyles, and badda bing, 600 meters later, I'm good!

And? I actually WAS good!

I had only one New Year's resolution this year, and that was: To pay attention to my body.

And that meant paying attention to something that I had hoped if I ignored would eventually go away: Back pain.

Some of you who know me know I have had serious back issues before. In fact, I had been advised to have surgery at one point, but declined, deciding instead to try alternative therapies, including strengthening and running. So back problems scare me. And since my move in April 2010, mine had been hurting more and more, to the point that getting out of bed in the morning had become actually painful. I had trouble standing up straight. It pretty much hurt all the time.

(I don't know why I'm writing in the past tense here. Wishful thinking? Cuz things are the same.)

Anywho, to make a long story short, a few weeks ago I went to an orthopedic surgeon (not on my in$urance!), got an MRI (not covered til you meet your $1,800 deductible!) and then had an epiphany after receiving a marketing email from Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy, about this tri-chick who had suffered from back pain for years, and how Sports and Spinal cured her.

You don't have to tell me twice. I made an appointment and two weeks ago started seeing the lovely and incredibly toned Sonja.

Who, like so many other authority figures in my life, took one look at me and said, "You have so much potential!"

Sigh.

The good news is that she is very optimistic about my condition (whatever it is), and thinks she can turn things around. Apparently my spine has a lot of problems, one of which is it's about as flexible as (in her words) a "two-by-four."

She gave me some very specific exercises to do for my back and for a related ITB issue (the fun never stops). Plus swimming 2x week and spinning 1x week.

The first week I dove right in: swim, spin, swim, spin, swim...and? Get bronchitis!!

Oh wait. That wasn't part of the plan?

And that's where we are. In bed, feeling my chest rattle, looking up "pneumonia" on Web MD. (You know, just in case.)

But, I feel like I'm back, mentally at least.

And every time I go swimming, or sit through a spin class, I find myself composing a blog post.

Old habits die hard, eh?

So, in closing: I never thought I'd say it, but

I miss you, running. I'm sorry I let you down, biking. Let's try again, shall we, swimming?

But no threesomes for a while, ok?