If there’s one thing I’ve missed more than anything in the past few months of inactivity, it’s being on the saddle with the wind on my face and meaningful thoughts in my head.
About three months ago, I was diagnosed with a degenerated L5 disc a.k.a. slipped disc. Naturally, this was really upsetting and I was immediately advised to halt all impactful activity. The compressed disc also led to a condition called Sciatica, which generally irritated some of the nerves leading down to my right foot. I often found my right leg falling asleep and I constantly had pins and needles down my leg. It was so uncomfortable that for the first few weeks, I found myself spending a lot of time in bed.
Thankfully, I was dealing with a sports doctor, orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist who were all very encouraging about my recovery and realistic as to how to deal with the injury. First, I was put on total rest which was immensely frustrating. But they all knew I would want to get back to a good level of activity as soon as possible. I was also given a long course of nerve medication, anti-inflammatories and regular physiotherapy.
To cut the long story short, I didn’t do jack for yonks.
I had even thought of selling my road bike so there would be more room in the house. But I’m so glad that I didn’t! Right before the new year, the ortho surgeon gave me the green light to start exercising! And what a great new year’s gift that was too. I had already started swimming in Bali and was very ready to take it easy on the bike and run front, but his actual words were: “5% of your back has been compromised, but you still have 95%. So go ahead and start cycling and running! Just know your limits and listen to your body. As soon as your back starts feeling a little tired, you’ll know when to stop.”
He said I didn’t need to see him anymore for the time being, and that made me oh, so very happy! (Even though he was really a very nice man.)
So today was the first time back on the road, and boy did I feel the effects of the last three inactive months (plus all the good food and drink from the festivities). But you know what, it felt good to be out there! Never mind that my legs were heavy and I spun super slowly up climbs, I was out. I was riding. The view was gorgeous and I thought about all the good times I have had cycling.
I know I probably won’t be running or racing much anymore, but it’s nice to know there’s still something that I love that I still can do. And I want to keep doing it, no matter what.