18 months after lumbar spinal fusion, I finally feel like I’m on a steady upward trend. More miles, weight loss, and I’m hosting group rides again!
I went into this week not knowing how the Jesse James 100 miler would go. I was out of town again for a decent portion of the week, and I’ve learned that work trips are hell on my back. My nerves were frazzled this morning, that’s for sure.
Last weekend I decided that I should go on my former normal Saturday morning group ride and try to get over my fears. It had been months since I had gone. The last time I went, I hammered to stay attached, got dropped, and ended up with back spasms. Not good. How did it go this time?
Unbeknownst to me, I had chosen to ride a route that contained a Strava segment called “meth teeth” in southern Missouri. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?! I was coming off of a great 115 mile ride earlier in the week and felt invincible.
What a difference a year can make. It was this time last year when I started falling down the stairs, unexpectedly, intermittently. At first it was subtle …
I never even saw the breakdown coming. I had a number of beautiful weeks in November and December of what I call “the renaissance”, the time when my back barely hurt, my legs weren’t numb or oddly painful, and biking was goooooood to me.
…I can look back on the year and know that I constantly pushed to my limits almost every single damn day, and sometimes past them, in an effort to get back to feeling like “me”.
I announced to my boyfriend that I had a new set of restrictions, or rather, a rewinding or revoking of privileges. After rattling off the list, he looked at me warily and said “Well, this just sounds like a conspiracy.”
“Interesting,” I thought, “my left big toe feels a little tingly. Hmmmm. Well, it’s cold outside, maybe I’m just cold? Yeah, I’m just cold…”
I wanted to know what I could do to lower the load on my spine going forward. The surgeon looked straight at me and said “Lose weight. Make your stomach smaller. Work on your core strength.” I nodded in agreement.