Posts Tagged ‘bad back’

Old habits die hard: A continuing saga

January 10, 2022

A quick peek at the Elena Gallegos Open Space,
where I have not been riding.

Bit by bit I’m returning components of exercise to the daily regimen.

I began with walking, the most basic form of locomotion for a biped. Unless you count crawling. This we have all done, at first while diapered, and perhaps later while suffering the side effects of our reality-management system of choice.

Next came cycling, sans hills. Then the jogging. And finally, the cautious lifting of very light weights.

Yesterday I threw caution to the winds and climbed some of the lesser hills in the ’hood, aboard the Soma Saga (canti edition), which has a low end of 20 gear inches. And yes, I used every inch, while dispatching scouts along the spinal column and down the legs to check for sleeper agents in the hamstrings.

Luna. See?

The stretching? Kinda, sorta. The yoga? Mmm, not so much. But as regular readers know, I will never be smart.

My only half-smart moves to date have been (a) to ease back into daily exercise after an extended back spasm, and (2) to avoid the off-road cycling.

When you ride singletrack using rigid steel, drop bars, rim brakes, narrow tires, and equally narrow gearing, you need to use a lot of English (or, in my case, Irish) when negotiating obstacles. If the lower back will not do The Twist you are slam-dancing with yourself in a minefield.

So, yeah. Road bikes. Broad gearing. 38mm tires at 60/65 psi. My running can be identified as “running” only because it seems slightly faster than walking. And my weightlifting? Arnold probably uses a heavier toothbrush.

Meanwhile, speaking of heavy lifting, BRAIN contributor Rick Vosper wonders whether the Bug-boosted, bike-buying bubble is ’bout to burst.

He quotes Jay Townley of Human Powered Solutions as predicting that retailers — suddenly finding themselves overstocked after The Great Product Drought while consumer interest returns to something approximating normalcy — could soon be slashing prices and running sales to attract buyers and reduce inventory, with the financial burden falling “particularly hard on bike shops and small to midsize retailers.”

Rick adds that this does not apply to e-bikes, the industry’s latest shiny object for the wandering eye. Shocking, I know.

X’dmas

December 26, 2021

This way to the Egress.

Well, that’s that. Another holiday crossed off the calendar.

I threw out my back just in time for the festivities, so I was not the usual jolly old elf as I tottered around the kitchen assembling Emeril’s chicken cacciatore and Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried succotash while listening to my favorite traditional Christmas carols (“Christmas in Prison,” John Prine; “Merry Christmas From the Family,” Robert Earl Keen; “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis,” Tom Waits; “Christmas in Washington,” Steve Earle; and “St. Stephen’s Day Murders,” The Chieftains and Elvis Costello).

Having a bad back is like having a bad dog. You can feed it and scratch it and take it for walks but you never know when the sonofabitch is gonna bite you.

Nevertheless, I persisted, and with an assist from Herself (lemon bars with whipped cream) we took a bite of supper with Herself the Elder and then relaxed with some 22-year-old standup from Marc Maron, Dave Attell, and Mitch Hedberg on Comedy Central.

Eye see you.

This morning it seemed some portal to another dimension had opened while we slept off the grub and giggles. You can see it up there to the right of the backyard maple.

And unless I miss my guess this other shot at right is either of the Eye of Sauron or Cthulhu’s bunghole. Red eye or brown eye, it’s not something you want to see before coffee, especially with a dodgy back that hampers your ability to flee in terror.

The sun is peeking out now, and I may go for a short hobble, see if I can jar all my scattered bits back into their proper places.

But I tell you what: If a chiropractor had beckoned to me from that interdimensional gateway, I’da jumped through it like a bad dog hopping a fence, howling, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn?” (“By any chance do you take Medicare?”)

Thou art mortal

September 2, 2010
calabacitas

Chicken quesadillas and calabacitas.

Damn, this has been a fun week. First I make drunkard tartare out of my right leg in a trail tumble, and now I’ve managed to throw my back out again.

Hitting the deck on Tuesday started the ball rolling. Favoring the bum leg gave it a nudge. And the kicker was probably spending too much time crouched over the cutting board, assembling last night’s New Mexican feast, chicken quesadillas and calabacitas.

These are easy dishes, to be sure — the quesadillas are merely poached and shredded chicken, seeded and sliced jalapeños and grated Monterey jack layered between two flour tortillas and baked for 12 minutes at 350 — but some assembly is required.

Long story short, this morning I bend down to see if Turkish is lurking under Herself’s car and pop! Out goes the back, which I first injured in college while delivering heavy appliances for beer money. Every couple of years it likes to slash the tires on my chariot and hiss, “Thou art mortal!”

Still, things could be worse. A couple of friends are on Cape Cod, playing hide-and-seek with Hurricane Earl. Or I could be one of the poor chumps blown off the latest offshore oil platform to explode.

So, yeah. I’ve got that going for me. That, and the drugs, and the ice pack. …