Report from week 3: On Thursday I had to lie down on the floor in my office because my lower back was so sore. All the hobbling around finally got to it. I've been using my cane instead of my crutches for several days, greedily wanting at least one free hand, and I'm wondering if I need the crutches to distribute weight better. If they might have some function other than just stability for my knee.
Heat feels good on the back, though. Still sore but I hitched a ride to the gym last night, where I discovered there is such a thing as a recumbent stair climber, with handles for upper body resistance. Such a device was never on my workout radar before but it seemed like just the thing. Also rode a stationary bike. I can't go fast enough with enough resistance to raise my heart rate much or even break a sweat. But I'm trying to remind myself that the motion and muscle strengthening is the important thing. I get that back, I can have all the cardio I want. I sat in the spa for awhile. All of it felt pretty good on the back.
So as alluded in the heading of this blog, I have some announcements. After much deliberation and cost-benefit analysis, I have decided to retire from playing tackle football. But I am hoping to try out for the position of Official Minstrel in addition to Rage Groupie, and avid team proponent, short of donating further limbs. I just can't do this again. 'This' meaning not only the colorful photos in the preceding posts but everything that goes with them; that it is a stunningly gorgeous autumn day and I'm staring at my bike and can't ride it. And I'd like to still be riding a bike in my crone years, which (whatever some people say about me) I've not reached just yet, and I'll need at least a little knee joint function left to do that. The bit of arthritis Doc cleaned up in my knee is probably more to do with all my pre-football running, but getting more beat up won't help it. And I'd still like to be able to run when I feel like it. I have talked to teammates for whom the opportunity to tear 'em down on the field is so satisfying as to be worth the risks. Maybe if I were a bit more aggressive in spirit and burly of build, that would be true for me too. If I need a combat sport outlet, and I might, I think jiujitsu might be a better choice. Something where relative momentum and mass are less important details. Meanwhile, I want to ride my bicycle.
Which brings me to the next big thing. In May 2008 I will be riding my bike in the NorCal AIDS Challenge, a 325 mile / 4 day loop of the northern Sacramento valley, to raise funds for HIV / AIDS programs. Just seemed like a great way to get my knee rehabbed and the rest of me back in shape, keep my spirits up, and do something helpful, all at the same time. The organizations benefiting from the funds are local / Sacramento area and are oriented toward keeping people housed, fed and cared for. Despite my periodic whining about sore this or that or having to ask people to drive me around for a few weeks, I know that my temporary slight disability is really quite luxurious in the scope of health problems a person can experience. So here is my official Donation Page for the ride. Feel free to visit early and often.