Monday, June 13, 2011

Jelly Legs

Jelly Legs...that would be me.

It being a pleasant evening of around 70F, I decided to get the bike out after dinner for a short ride. And short it was. Ugh! This city has way too many hills, and my neighborhood is no exception. Yeah...I barely made it three miles. I can walk a mile in fifteen minutes no problem, but I seriously lack the strength in my knees for riding a bicycle in this town.

It wasn't always that way. When we were kids I used to ride a bike on almost a daily basis. My sisters and I went everywhere on our bikes: the library, friends' homes, or just on long random rides. In high school we would ride our bikes across town, hills and all, no problem. The thing is, I got out of the habit of riding while in college. There was no place to store a bike on my campus, so I left it at home. And then being out of practice did not ride it much during summer vacations or after graduation. Yup...sure paying for that now.

There were also a few knee injuries in there that prevented me from riding for long stretches, too. That is not an excuse, but a fact. For example, the injury of January 1999. First day back to work after the holidays and I fell at work, coshing my knee against a stainless steel chest. Can you say, Ouch?!

Great way to start off the new year, let me tell you. That was the month both parents were dealing with health issues, and my sisters lived out of state. Rather than staying off the knee and propping it up as much as possible the way I was supposed to, I was expected to run all over hell and creation. It didn't help when I slipped on some ice and wrenched the already injured knee--which, of course, prolonged the injury.

Yup, 1999 was a really great year. Not.

And, okay, so I should have been in the fitness center after it started to get better to try to strengthen it, but did I mention both parents were dealing with illnesses? Which meant Heather had zero time to take care of herself. And while I did start walking regularly again come summer, which is great cardio exercise, walking targets completely different muscles than riding a bike. You don't realize it when you're a kid because most kids are usually pretty active year round, and riding a bike is just one more routine activity. But let it go for a few years and try to take it up again as an adult...believe me--you notice.

Two summers ago I decided it was time to liberate my bike from the dungeon (aka basement storage locker), get new tires, polish it up a bit, and start using it. Umm...yeah. I rode it only a couple of times. The intention was there, but not the spirit.

This summer I am determined to get more use out of it. I'd like to be able to ride it through the Arboretum, and maybe to work. Hence the ride this evening. And it wouldn't have been so bad were it not for those freaking hills I live on. Yes, plural. My neighborhood is anything but flat, and it really challenged me. I've decided I need new knees. Also, an inhaler. While the asthma hasn't bothered me much the last few years, I am feeling it tonight. The steam from a hot shower helped some, but man...I am whipped.

Sigh... Maybe I should just sell the bike and stick with walking.


Jana said...

Girl, you are ambitious! lol

I've never been a bike rider. Had the stationary bike for a while but, ugh, didn't feel the love with it. I'd much rather walk.

Hope you're able to stick with it, though. You'll probably enjoy it once you get back into it and get the ol' knees back in shape. ;-)

Heather said...

Yeah, I'm sure I'll appreciate it once I "get my knees back." I opted for walking last night. I didn't think I'd be able to do another three miles on the bike, but needed to move so did four miles to the Arb and back.

They finally reopened the trail down to Greene Prairie (it was closed Apr and May due to being water-logged), so had a pleasant detour down there, though the boardwalk still felt a bit spongy in places. The spiderwort and prairie orchids are just blooming. In a word...GORGEOUS!

Jana said...

Yeah, you probably don't need to push yourself, either. Don't want to do more harm than good to your joints and muscles. :)

Spiderwarts sound interesting. Got any pics of those? *g*

Heather said...

If you spell spiderwOrt correctly, you can use the search box to find previously posted pics of it. ;)