Saturday, August 17, 2013

# 466 - Moutain Biking

For most of my life, I have hiked and biked. Well, I encountered some serious health problems that began a few years back, which included a broken neck in 2009, so all of my "in the wild" explorations on foot and bike slowed down. SLOWED DOWN people...they haven't stopped, not by a long shot!

The great thing about that kind of active life during our years of raising our children was that my entire family participated. My husband, me, and the kids spent many, many, many days of our lives hiking through forests, canyons, deserts and biking all over the place.

My daughters, Heather & Stefie with their bikes
years they looked while riding through
our neighborhood. As you can see with
Stefie's protective gear...she
takes after her mother in the clumsy trait.

Especially during the Spring and Summer months, me and the kids would bike all through our neighborhood. One fun goal was to go down every street and find water sprinklers, then we'd bike through them. In Texas, that was an excellent way to have fun and stay cool at the same time. Sometimes, we'd find a really good sprinkler and we would bike in circles through the falling water, over and over, laughing about the home-owners possibly running out to say, "GET OUT OF MY WATER SPRINKLER!"

We were such rebels.

Lately, I have been feeling the effects of aging. BLAH. That's not something that anyone gets excited about. But, HEY, I have a different perspective on aging...I'm thankful to be here; every day that I get to see the sunshine and the sunset, I am grateful because I've teetered on the brink of the big "In Between" a few too many times. After those kinds of experiences, you welcome the wrinkles.

So, this past week when I took a bad fall down the deck steps as I held a heavy load in my arms, I hit the hard edge of the bottom step extremely hard, against my lower spine and back. In fact, right there next to that slab of wood, my rear sat in the dirt as I laughed in a demented way, then the laughs turned into little cries as I realized I WAS HURT!

New stairs I fell on. I stepped half on and half off
the temporary landing board. Needless to say, I
got busy with laying pavers and adequate stepping
stones at the base of the steps over the past
couple of days.

Those of you who know my two daughters are now grown, you also know my two dogs are my babies today. As I sat in the dirt, both dogs ran to my side. Howdy was clearly distressed. As a "working dog" he actually tried to nuzzle me off the ground and when I couldn't budge, he ran up the stairs to the RV door and began barking and scratching in a frenzy to get Sgt. Dave's attention. At least Howdy's rescue-Lassie-style response gave me good reason to be distracted from my pain and prompt me to get back up the stairs and inside to wail a little at my predicament.

Most of my regular readers know my middle name is "clumsy" so this contributed to my fall. With my arms full, I was not holding onto the railing, which is a required for me and stairs to peacefully coexist. However, I must have severely bruised my left hip bone because I could not sit or lie on that side for two days. Even now, I have trouble with certain motions involving my left leg, such as walking. Hardy har har. No, actually, I now have trouble with simply stepping OVER something.

However, within ten minutes of my fall and realizing I had indeed hurt myself, I soon decided to go back outside for a walk through the forest. It hurt like hell. I had hit a hard line along my lower back so hard that the edge of the step made a raised impression of a white line straight across my back to the other side of my spine that continued with a line of broken skin.

I walked and walked and whimpered.

But, in my mind, when I am hurt, I feel as if I must at least try to walk it off. Every day since my injury, I go for at least three separate walks. Finally, days after the fall, I now feel limber enough to do a bit of landscaping each evening.

My sister and I were joking about my need to alternate between lying down with complete immobility, then I would get up and get into motion, as if I could work out the pain --- my sister and I laughed about how we were raised to believe you can WALK OFF ANYTHING!

She referred to my belief in activity as "Motion is Lotion."

Isn't that true? Once we start to become more sedentary, things begin to rust, freeze up, become less agile. But, we sometimes have to stop doing so much because things are rusting, freezing up and becoming less agile.


Therefore, since my fall, I have wondered why my clumsiness was completely absent when biking? On a bike, I have perfect balance...go figure.

Since I do believe that Motion is Lotion, I have decided to work toward getting back into mountain biking. Heck, there are INCREDIBLE mountain biking trails nearby that are begging for me to explore them. One particular trial is 18 miles round-trip and slices straight through an eco-system that will have me wondering if I am in Heaven.

This trail is closed October 1 - September 1, for hunting season. This trail is considered to be moderate to difficult. Since it is both a mountain biking and horse riding trail, it should be interesting. There are nine miles of trail into the preserve and nine miles heading out.

View Of The Trail

Of course, I will bring my temporary pet-bug case with me on each biking trip. Plus, our land is big enough for me to ride around on a bike, especially after we get our trails cleared again.

First, I will need a new mountain bike, so I will start looking. I'm thinking inexpensive, to make sure this body can handle the sport again. However, I am determined and anyone who knows me also knows that I am persistent.

A mountain bike with good shocks will work for my system. I can go for as long of a ride or for as short as a ride as I desire. My muscles, especially my legs, will get a good workout. And my cardiovascular system will get a pump of activity that will serve it well. Plus, my eyes and spirit needs the movement and the scenery that the biking scenes will provide, not to mention that it's probably safer for me to do than walking.

And I have already found one at Walmart that I am obsessing about.

As you can imagine, Sgt. Dave is extremely excited about my desire to return to mountain biking; he's jumping with joy, so elated. I guess I need to remind him to be glad that it's not still a motorcycle that I'm ready to buy...I'm making strides in my aging years.


Amy Dingmann said...

Ouch! Sorry to hear about the fall. :) I'm with you - motion is lotion, if we stop moving, we might not start up again! Hope you get your bike. :)

LindaG said...

My Mom told me the other day she never thought she'd make 80, which she will in a couple of weeks.

I'm clumsy like you, so I am always careful, too. Or so I tell myself. I am constantly moving things that I know I will undoubtedly trip over. (Sometimes I still do!)

Glad you didn't hurt yourself seriously, Lana. Your property will have lovely bike trails.

Not sure if we become less agile or are just not as agile as we remember. ;-)
Nor as heat resistant!

I need to remember that when I mow the pasture tomorrow.
Have a wonderful week, Lana. ♥ said...

Amy - thank you! I think it will take a couple of months, but that bike is a goal for me. I will get a couple of them and when company comes over, they can also take them out for a spin.

Linda - I think sometimes aging surprises those of us who most struggled and thought we might not make it another year, and we do, an another and another! My grandmother did the same thing. She had a massive brain-stem stroke at about 53 years of age, then had multiple strokes to follow. She could not even remember how to walk and her face sagged, she could not form words properly and now she is in her mid 80's and they say they can find no sign of her former strokes! Life can truly be amazing. I remember being 14 years old and standing there with my mother at Methodist Hospital in Houston as the doctors told my mom that a brain stem stroke is the worst and less likely for recovery. After hard years of true recovery which included her putting blue eyeliner on her eyebrows instead of brown pencil brow and things like that...she made a FULL RECOVERY that is a miracle. So, I never quit going. My grandmother bought an acre of land and lived in a rural setting, on her own. She was incredibly independent and I think being in nature helped her to heal and jump started her long life to come. And last Monday, I went to Houston to the doctor about my fall and he gave me two shots, said my sciatic nerve was inflamed to the bursa (???) area of the hip, which is a more common injury of falls to women who have had children. I don't know what that means --- wide hip syndrome?? lol. Anyway, the shots did exactly as he expected, within 48 hours, I barely felt a hitch, SO MUCH BETTER. But, the day after the shots, the bullet hit my hand. I think the shots helped my body heal faster and deal with it better, as if I had received pre-treatment for the ricochet! As for my agility, it has decreased. I am working, slowly, on strengthening my body and more flexibility. I have areas that will never be flexible again because there is hardware in place, but I will work with the areas I have to work with! Living in the country has definitely increased my stamina and strength. I wonder how you feel about your own body and the difference it has with living in the country. I truly think it will take a full year to see a significant difference.