Time to start exercising again! I’ve been on a forced sabbatical from working out for almost a month, as I heal from the surgery I had (which went very well, in case you need to catch up). I was initially told by my doctor that I shouldn’t do anything strenuous, including exercise, for 2-4 weeks after surgery, and it turned out I needed most of that time. But by the time I left for Sweden, I was feeling ready to start moving, at least a little. I was ready to test the waters. And since I was staying with friends in Sweden that have an awesome 90-pound Labrador retriever that needed to go on walks, I took full advantage. Here’s me and Pepper:
During that trip, we went on three hour-long walks through the woods, and a couple half-hour walks on other days. And I felt great. When I arrived back in the states, I felt ready for more.
I decided, on my first full day in Michigan, that I would go for a run. I didn’t give myself big, lofty goals, and I didn’t have major expectations – I just wanted to see what I could do and see how it felt. And I very quickly learned that I wasn’t capable of much. It felt like I’d never worked out a day in my life. It’s amazing how quickly I fell out of shape! But even though it was frustrating and at times I was kinda miserable, I did what I could and finished a good workout: 3.5 miles in 51 minutes, alternating between walking and running (walking up hills, running down them and in the flat stretches).
The next day I headed out for a second run. The first run wasn’t the best experience, but I knew the only way to get back into shape was to keep going. For the second run, I picked a different route, and set little mini-goals along the way: Run until you reach the next intersection. And when I got there, I’d push myself a little farther. Don’t stop for two more driveways. Partway through the run, I had to bribe myself with little rewards. If I make it to the end of this street, I can walk for the next 100 yards or so.
My little games worked. My run lasted 54 minutes, and I managed to go 4.1 miles – .6 miles more than the day before! Progress!
The day after that, we were in St. Joseph, Michigan, where my parents have a couple bikes. I borrowed my dad’s and went for a ride after our Father’s Day dinner, which we actually celebrated on Saturday. I rode 8.1 miles in 41 minutes, on a bunch of streets that offered periodic views of Lake Michigan. It was fun.
Then, on Sunday, my sister Laura and I, who were now at her place in Chicago, went on a big, long bike ride. And I took pictures! We started out by heading a couple miles to a store that Laura wanted to swing by. After checking that out, we headed towards Lake Michigan. Chicago has a beautiful lakefront that’s lined with beaches and public trails. We reached the water near Lincoln Park, north of downtown. Chicago sure is a pretty town!
That’s me with the bike. We biked south along the water along Lakeshore Drive and stopped for a quick bathroom break at Navy Pier, in the heart of the city. Then we continued south, past Millenium and Grant Park. Laura snapped this picture of me by Buckingham Fountain:
The fountain actually shoots a stream of water fifty or sixty feet in the air, but you can’t see it in this picture, because the wind turned the spray into a mist that even we felt from our location about 100 yards away.
We headed south a little further, until we reached the Museum Campus. We biked out on the peninsula to Adler Planetarium, the furthest point on our route. It was there that Laura took this fantastic panorama shot of me and the skyline:
And here’s me and Laura:
From there we traversed the city streets until we made it back to her place. Laura has a bike odometer, and it calculated that we went a total of 12.78 miles. The trip took about 2.5 hours, but subtract for the stops for photo ops, the store, the bathroom break, and lots of quick stops at intersections while we waited for the light to change, and we were actually pedaling for 1 hour 35 minutes (that’s another calculation courtesy the odometer).
Looking back at those first four post-surgery workouts, I’m pretty pleased. I head back to Los Angeles in a few days… and I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym to continue getting back into shape!
Keep it up, David!