Don’t forget to put roses on my grave

This may be the last rose of the season. But this being Albuquerque, quién sabe?

Some of you may be secretly pleased to learn that after I got all smug about our lovely fall weather I managed to tweak my back just enough to curtail my enjoyment of the extended cycling season.

It’s an old problem that makes an occasional painful comeback, like herpes, malaria or the Republican Party. And it taught me the only thing I really learned in college: When delivering refrigerators for beer money, lift with your legs.

Anyway, from time to time some small movement not involving the relocation of refrigerators triggers a back spasm, and while this one is not as bad as some, it’s bad enough to keep me off the bike this afternoon.

I’m not in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon. But I did munch a little Advil to take my pain away.


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11 Responses to “Don’t forget to put roses on my grave”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Heating pad, massage, stretching, and off the shelf Aleve twice a day for three days. Plus don’t sit for too long. Works for me.

  2. Charley Auer Says:

    Sorry, backs and aging sucks! But, better than the alternative

  3. Herb Clevenger Says:
    Willing to wager that as Le Cyclist your back issues are like mine; stemming from tight quads and hammies as well as the illiopsoas and as Stephen describes here in this link. I thought yoga might be the answer but holding the postures over a few seconds turned out making things worse. Tried doing Stehen’s routine and after many years of suffering the old trick back/knee episodes – all is swell from the waist down. If only my brain was as limber as the rest of me!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Herb. I’ll look into that. My issue actually stems from an injury in college, acquired while delivering heavy appliances for beer money. Dragging one huge refrigerator up three flights of narrow stairs forced me to lift with my back instead of my legs at one point, and the rest is (chiropractic) history.

      This old injury can be triggered by most anything: bending down to pick up a quarter, lifting The Boo one-handed over his security gate, overreaching for a metaphor, etc. My pelvis rotates forward and out of alignment, leaving the left leg shorter than the right. I look like the leaning Tower of Pisa, only more hysterical and less historical.

      But I agree, tight quads and hammies — common in the cycling community — are contributing factors in my periodic breakdowns. My last chiropractor was always on me about stretching and yoga. But as you know, I will never be smart.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        My tandem riding friends, husband and wife, down the street include a retired physical therapist and yoga instructor. She has straightened out my pelvis before getting my legs back in sync. Magic!
        By the way, I am now going out to chase their wheel again. Yep, still in short sleeves and shorts. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. JD Dallager Says:

    Sorry to hear about your temporary infirmity, PO’G. Here’s wishing you a speedy and full recovery!!

    Speaking of growing older … and for those who enjoy Garrison Keillor … here’s a great article he penned on wisdom, aging, and what’s important in life:

    Pat: What a great combination of talent your tandem riding friends have. I’d chase their wheel everyday! Enjoy!

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      My writing skills aren’t the best, JD. The yoga instructor and retired physical therapist are the same person, Michele. The captain on that tandem is Bob, a retired special ed teacher and avid amateur astronomer. But you are right, they have a great combination of talent and they are a hoot to ride with. Michele straightens me out when the back acts up, and the last time was about 4 months ago. But, after a while I go back to my lopsided ways.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    I wore my long sleeved Old Guys jersey today in your honor. Get well soon.

  6. Carl Duellman Says:

    thanks for the clip of the stones. mick taylor didn’t look like he was enjoying himself though. as far as back issues,i’ve been doing pilates for a few years now and my back rarely goes out. i’m the perfect candidate for back troubles as i’m tall, inflexible and i sit at a desk all day.

  7. Shawn in the Gorge Says:

    I had a back muscle issued that acted up on me a few years back. It was painful to get around and I was walking similar to as you describe with your injury. I had a buddy that was coming out to my area to do a run that we had planned a couple of weeks earlier. I told him that it was highly unlikely that I was going to do the run. The next morning I decided to see what was possible as I struggled with difficulty to get my running shoes on. I hobbled over to the location of the run start with my buddy still unsure if I could even walk a hundred yards. When the start gun went off, adreneline must have kicked in and I took off……and suddenly I discovered that I could cruise along running with no pain…. It was wonderful ! Apparently that transfer of load from one back muscle to another freed up the load on the one muscle that was giving me pain…. It really was great…..Of course, at the end of the run I had to slow down and stop……Ouch! I was hobbling around again.

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