Sunday, May 04, 2014


Back in October, Doug signed the four of us up for a local gym. Ten bucks a month each. Not bad price-wise, I had wanted the YMCA but we don't really have a local one (nearest two of those are 20 minutes away if you're lucky, and the things like open swim never seem to be convenient).

We started going regularly, I was walking to work most days, getting in about 3 miles at least. Then, I blew out my knee and everything else broke.

December, January and February my membership languished.

In March, I started going again. My doctor and hematologist told me that it would be good for me, and I had learned a lot of exercises from going to PT which would help with my knee problem. I'm not clear to go back to PT yet for the knee, so doing exercise that doesn't make it WORSE is better than doing nothing at all.

A half mile on the exercise bike was torture at first. Lifting the weights, I had the pin on the absolute lowest setting with the "dial up" feature set to zero. This is about 10 pounds.  For the lower body things, my legs have always been incredibly strong. My abdomen was healed up nicely by the end of March so I could push on things and bendy knee things at somewhat higher weights, like 25 or 30 pounds.

Gradually, I added 5 pounds to some of the exercises.

Today I rode 5 miles on the bike. I had been setting a half hour goal or 4 miles, whichever came first. I thought of my son and his troop. I watched a TV spot on the news with former President Bush riding with wounded warriors on their bikes and doing sweet jumps. I imagined all the miles these guys were doing, some with prosthetic legs.

I pushed myself to the 5 miles, and did it in 39 minutes. Hell yeah look at me go.

I did all the upper body machines set on 30 pounds and two of them on 50. There is only one that I can't do regularly on anything higher than 20 pounds... For my legs, I'm up to 50 or 70 pounds, depending on which exercise it is. Some of the bendy knee thingies I am not ready to push above 50. In fact, there are two of them that I sometimes do at 30, just because I can feel the tendon on the inside of my knee arguing with me.

I went to the gym twice this past week, and have been trying to do 2 if not 3 visits a week. We went after church today, and I didn't want to but I'm glad I did.

Bigger, faster, stronger? Maybe. I still am having great difficulty just WALKING any distances. I walked a half mile on the treadmill on Monday of last week and thought I might die. Literally. My legs still feel like they are 40 pounds each. I want to be able to hike by Aaron's wedding in August so we can have some fun while out in Oregon.

There be hills there, you know. There be hills...

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