A Lazy Morning Status Report

I am lazy defined.

I slept till 7:30. Did a set of exercises and stretched. A nice breakfast. I’m knocking back a French press of strong, strong coffee, watching some television.

My only goal today, now, is to go to the gym tonight. I haven’t been since December 27th. Before that, it was last February. And I don’t plan to go much, either. Me no likey the gym. I’ve lost all my weight without it, so, you know, it’s pretty much unnecessary. But it offers a well-rounded training opportunity, so I think popping in here or there might be wise. Shake up my body from the routine.

I have been exhausted this week. Partly the weather, partly I think I’m fighting a bug, but also just acclimatizing to a new schedule and sleep pattern. I’ve been getting to bed early, waking by 4:30 or so, and getting my days done earlier. It’s a pattern I think I’ll try to continue. Something appeals about getting into a habit where I can cycle to work at 5:30 or 6:30 am, watching the sun gain strength, smelling the dew evaporating. That’s what it’s all about.

Plus, I could get into the habit of what I’ve done this week — longer four days, and a half-day Friday. Nice way to end a week. Sleep in, late start.

I’m scared. Tomorrow I tackle my bike again. I’m going to try to cycle up top of Vancouver’s Little Mountain. That’d be about a 12-15km return trip, I think. Not too bad, but it’s hill-climbing I need to train at now. It made me its bitch last month. I just need to get past the break-in period. Getting broken-in is a bitch.

My recent back flare-up as a result of my cycling and a few other mishaps freaked me out. It shouldn’t have been so prolonged. It’s settled now and my back’s improving. My physiotherapist’s happy. We’re both thinking it’s tight hamstrings that caused the recent problem, not that my physio isn’t working. So, good news, bad news. Hamstrings can be stretched, and stretching is easier than strengthening.

Again, my problems are all from overexertion. Story of my life. I try too hard. :)

Still, I’m optimistic. I am. I’m going to get past this, because I care about getting it right. It’s taking a long time, but we’re gonna get it solved, and I’m going to have a long, strong, pain-free future. It’s just going to be hard work to get there.

And I’ve proven I can do the hard work. Just need to keep the faith.

What has improved, though, and this is very important, is that my alignment in my low back has been more stable over the last four days than it has in the last four months. My muscles are all rebelling a little bit, but fuck it, so what? I’m becoming stable.

I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it is to live with chronic injury. Five months is hardly chronic, but for that five months it has indeed been constant, ergo chronic.

The challenge isn’t so much that you’re in pain, okay? The pain’s something that just eventually becomes an irritating new normal. We get used to it. We’re humans, masters of adaptation. Pain can be overcome.

The hard part is the fatigue and, if you have it, the unpredictability. Injuries are never just X painful all the time. They fluctuate. Maybe it’s air pressure and weather that sets it off, or housecleaning, or stress from an argument. Whatever. But injuries go up and down.

When pain flared up and the alignment went out, I found that it just kicked my ass. Everything would become uncomfortable, therefore arduous, and my fatigue factor went through the roof. I was forced to rest and stretch and reconfigure schedules.

Honestly, I have not been able to make plans ahead of time and reliably get to that night feeling how I would have hoped to feel. Not for a long time. Not at all in 2008, nor much (but some!) thus far in 2009. Because I worked out too much then, and have been injured in recent months.

I’m better at managing that now. I was doing really well at juggling things right before my back flared up. That I’ve managed to have my back actually feel relatively stable 90% of the time since Sunday blows my fucking mind.

It’s been a long, hard winter. If ever there was a year I needed a car, this was the one. Try rehabbing a back when you can’t afford cabs and have to always do the shopping-for-food thing — and for about 5 weeks with ice everywhere. It’s been arduous just doing basic things for myself. A life was the last thing I had energy for.

But with stability like this? Wow, that’d help. I’d feel more consistent. That’s everything in rehab! If you at least HAVE a “normal”, then you can plan your life accordingly. If you don’t know how you’re going to feel, then you live life all at the last minute. And that’s pretty lame, because anticipation is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

It’s been a long, strange week. But here’s hoping this small bit of improvement continues. I’m ready and optimistic. Bring it on. :)