. . . a trip to my local REI did me in. I paid a visit for something fairly inconsequential and left with a sudden need to retrieve my bike from storage at the last place I lived almost a year ago. I remembered, “Wait, I DO have a bike!” Never mind that I had almost let the complex have my bike . The last time I rode was a short and painful experience in which I tried unsuccessfully to make it up a hill only to have to come back down and make the trip home where I barely locked my bike up before almost being overcome by nausea. It was a good attempt but now I know I was not really prepared for such a hill. Growing up in a fairly flat area it was very difficult having to adjust to hilly areas when it came to outdoor things like rollerblading and cycling; things that I use to enjoy when I was younger.
A visit to my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Branche, earlier in the year confirmed what I had suspected: that I do indeed have arthritis in my knees even though I’m only in my late twenties. Even the doctor said: “I hate seeing patients as young as you with arthritis. At least if you are in your 50s with arthritis you’ve earned it.” I was a victim of genetics. I’ve always had knee/leg problems growing up, mostly they just hurt and I guess that it eventually caught up with me.
I underwent physical therapy with the lovely people of INOVA Physical Therapy where I learned that running and other high-impact activities were out of the question for me. How was I then to lose the 10 lbs I regained after the wedding and the holidays if I couldn’t run or do the elliptical? Frustration and rebellion kicked in. Water exercises are always mentioned for arthritis sufferers but it was the dead of winter. The neighborhood pool doesn’t open until May.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of cycling sooner. I’d pretty much been doing that at the gym since being diagnosed, along with weight training. The weather was beautiful the day I went to the REI. That’s when I became obsessed with learning more about cycling. I rescued my bike from its dusty depths and let it see sunshine again. I haven’t yet rode on it because of the winter-like temperatures and have mostly been logging my miles at spinning classes or on stationery bikes. I’m pining for warmer/sunnier days like everyone else. I bought a helmet yesterday. I’m ready to go . . . well, I do need to change my rear brake pads first. The first beautiful day and I am on the road!
I’m really motivated and I love how exhausted yet empowered I feel after a class or a good half-hour ride. I’m going to try for 45 minutes today . . . indoors for now. Sigh.