Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A short two mile wake up call

Sometimes you just wake up and say why not?

As anyone who knows me can say, I'm a skater.   Rollerblades, Inlines, that sort of thing.  There's some other slang names for it, but I'll leave that to others to come up with.   I skated competitively through the peak of the sport and well after when I felt like I was the last one out there doing it.   I've done a total of 20,800 miles on inline skates, and while that sounds like an exact number, it probably is fairly close.   I describe myself as an Elite Fitness Class Skater. 

All that bragging aside, I had stopped skating completely about a year ago.   There are really no excellent trails here in South Florida to skate without being up at 4AM or having to fight traffic like there are in Philadelphia.  I grew used to and spoiled by the challenge of the Schuylkill River Trail, and rose to that challenge by skating 100 miles a week over three workouts in Peak Season, April through October.

One of the things I was looking forward to was finding a long trail and just getting out and getting lost in it.  But I never found anything better than the Pompano Airpark trail.   At Five Miles Long, its a short trail for me.  That is about 30 minutes on a bad day, and while an hour three times a week is what the doctors recommend, its not enough and got boring.

After hanging up my skates and debating about what I'd do, time passed.   I think I skated under 10 miles in 2009, I gave up counting.   Dust grew around the wheels but I refused to toss them out.   I even tried the old school quads in a skating rink in Hollywood just North of the Airport, but I'm way too strong a skater for the whole indoor scene.

Over the last week my knee acted up, and got to the point where I was in severe pain just sitting down.   I had gone through therapy before so I know what to do and recognized the signs.  What it means is that ironically I hadn't been getting enough exercise.  While bragging about skating, I had started to hear from friends saying that I should get back on them, and when I turned my back I'd hear it phrased perhaps a bit less kindly.

Today, Sunday (Yes I write these postings ahead of time) I woke up at 530am angry with the throbbing in my knee and decided I needed to do something different than hobble around a mile walk with Mrs Dog.   She was all bouncy as usual so I just threw on jeans, turtleneck and leather jacket and grabbed old faithful, My Skates.

The result was a very happy dog and a very surprised me.  I thought I wouldn't be able to do it since just getting out of a chair hurt the knee above the knee cap, but everything just worked.   I guess 20,800 miles are tough to forget.  It wasn't a very vigorous workout, I stayed at the speed of my Border Collie's Trot.  The town is not built for skating, sidewalks are uneven, there are bumpy bits at the intersections for wheelchairs to get a grip while climbing, and there was the ever present possibility of small gravel getting caught behind the wheels and sending me into a "Face Plant", but none of that mattered.   Mrs Dog was smiling, I was smiling, and it just felt right.

I am now just finishing the first mug of coffee, and there's no ill results.  I guess things are getting back to normal again.  I'm ready for the trails.

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