Jessica and I decided more or less on a whim to participate in the Cowbell Challenge bike race this past weekend. Since neither of us was really prepared for an endurance race and I wasn't even sure if my knee and back would tolerate it, we elected to ride in the Duo Female 6 Hour category. Despite the heat, Jessica's stomachache and my out-of-practice-and-definitely-not-prepared-for-endurance-racing condition, team We've Been Whitneyed -
in honor of 2006 Stanley Cup Champions Carolina Hurricanes' own Ray Whitney - managed to bring home the Gold with a combined total of four laps. Yes, we were the only Female Duo, but we went, we rode, we won, we clanged the cowbells!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I've gotten my custom orthotics and put them into my running, tennis and bike shoes, and all I can say is wow! What a difference they make. I still have some leg and back pain with biking, particularly on longer rides, but it is more manageable with the shoe inserts. Correcting the positioning/pronation of my feet seems to help all the way up through the knee, hip and even into my back. The doctors and therapists have told me that it will take time for my skeletal structure and muscles to adapt to the correction provided by the inserts, since they are readjusting the mechanics of my body. But hopefully the orthotics, in combination with the stretching and strengthening program I'm currently on will provide the mechanical correction necessary for restoration of my joint function and gradually increasing pain relief. At any rate, I can now ride my bike for nearly an hour at a time, play tennis through a full match, even run - albeit slowly - for a couple of miles . I don't do all these things in the same day of course, but the new footbeds do expand my capability for avoiding burnout and boredom, not to mention aiding my exercise capacity, by giving me the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities with increased comfort and stability.
Thursday, June 1, 2006
After a nearly 20 year hiatus, the sound of music has begun to call to me again. I rented a flute for a couple of weeks last month, just to see if the spark was still there and discovered that happily, it was! So after a couple of weeks of practice, relearning the keys, notes, and written music as well as some playing "by ear", I'm rekindling an old friendship with this beautiful woodwind and purchased my very own flute. Obviously, I'm still on the basic beginner stuff, but it's amazing how it makes me feel to hear a song that I recognize and realize I am the one making the music! It's been a wonderful refuge in a time of much turmoil and stress in my life - I only wish I had rediscovered it sooner. I would write more, but there is music to play!