Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Personal Milestone, on Two Wheels

On occasion, I let you behind the cooking and crafting areas of my life and today is going to be one of those days because I can hardly contain myself. Almost exactly a year ago, I hurt my back. Three months after that initial injury, I hurt it again for a grand total of three herniated discs in the lower region (each in a different direction, which my doctor informed me he'd never, in all his years of being a doctor, seen). What followed was a series of muscle relaxers, days lost in a fog of drug-induced sleep, mri's, physical therapy, and general unhappiness as my active self was put to the ultimate test—just walking around was painful. No more running, I couldn't really bend over so yoga was kind of out of the question and definitely no backpacking or mountain climbing since my hips simply couldn't handle the pressure strain.

Gradually, though, throughout the spring, things started to improve and the leaving the city—and the stress of it—definitely helped ease the pain. Though I did have another round of spasms in mid-June that was, as you can imagine, very disheartening.

When I moved out here, I brought my road bike as inspiration. I wasn't sure when I'd be able to be back on it, and for the time that I've been here, I've been riding my hybrid which allows for a more upright position. I've really been loving that bike, both riding it around the bike trails here and for transportation back and forth to work. But my purple bike—built for me by my brother-in-law Dave—was calling to me. Recently, since yoga has gotten a lot easier (I can bend over!! Do headstands!) and my body is generally less creaky, I decided it was time. I took the bike for a tune up, bought a new pair of bike shorts, and ventured out for the first time this morning.

I admit that I let the fear build up in my head. I was really scared that I wouldn't remember how to clip in and out of my pedals. Worried that I'd fall or get a flat tire. But I decided that I just had to do it because my fear was getting out of hand. And I have this morning was amazing. Not only did my back not hurt, it was FUN. And hard. And incredibly freeing to realize that I've made such progress, and that I can start to embrace challenging myself physically again (within reason, of course).

All of this is to say that while I realize that the reality of my back will always be with me in some way, this feels like an enormous milestone and I wanted to share my happiness with you.

Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!


  1. Congratulations! As a fellow back-pain sufferer (herniated cervical spine, surgery almost three years ago) I get how frustrating it can be. Congrats on getting back to something you love.


  2. That's great! Congratulations - and enjoy! I'm thinking that you'll need a steady influx of pedicures and massages, just to make sure the pain doesn't come back, right? ;-)

  3. So happy for you sweetie ... i know how happy you must be to be free again in the wind. I'm happy - because you are pain free! enjoy! love, the associated press xoxoxox