Friday, April 8, 2016

About the time you feel you are ready to go again...

...something happens to remind you that you are not quite ready.

Yes, it has been awhile since I posted.  I have been busy being my own one-man  landscaping squad.  It is a good physical test, actually.  I spend a few hours each day (according to my Vivofit2, I also traverse between four and six miles a day) "working" this new lawn and the property in general.  I cut down trees with a chainsaw, cut them into 2-3-foot logs, and haul their debris to our burn area (we live in the country, and we have to burn such debris, as no sanitation service will take the green garbage one can gather out here), I cut down smaller trees and brush with my machete, and occasionally an axe, and then pull them out as though I was playing "tug-o-war" with the brush in which they are entangled.  I mow about 10,000 square feet (~1000 square meters) of lawn with a reel push mower, and rake rocks out of the turf areas with a three-foot (0.9m) landscaper's rake.  I walk up and down steep (up to ~30 degrees) inclines and other uneven terrain.  In short, the outside work at our property is quite the workout, and a good test as to the healing of the right posterior knee.

During one of my breaks yesterday, I was playing a little "one-on-none" basketball.  The basketball goal faces our motor-court area, and the lawn slopes away from the motor-court immediately.  "Air balls" mean you chase the ball into the woods.  Other missed shots might catch the edge of the motor-court and be launched down the slope and into the woods.  Hustling after missed shots can save you a trip to the woods.  As I have not shot basketball with any kind of regularity for 20 years or more, I am trying to get my shot back (muscle memory has long-forgotten), and I enjoy it as an active break.  My "game" is to shoot from wherever I recover the ball from a missed shot.  If I make the shot, I then go and make a free throw and a lay-up.  The lay-up must be made from the side from which the ball is retrieved after the free throw.  Missing any of the two latter shots nullifies the made field goal.  I play to five, with each circuit of a made field goal, free throw, and lay-up counting as one.  Nowadays, it takes a long time to get to five, so I only play to three.  

The right posterior knee was feeling pretty good as I hustled about to retrieve the basketball at a more favorable distance from the goal (it is hard enough to hit ten-foot shots, much less letting the ball bounce 20 feet away from the basket).  I was thinking, "Wow, things feel pretty good, I can start running this weekend."  I go to bed last night, suitably tired after a very active day,  A few hours into my sleep, I need to roll over and sleep on the other side.  The right posterior knee protested greatly!  It was as if I had re-injured it.  I knew I had not sustained a re-injury, but I had certainly aggravated the injured area.  I took my cinnamon-ginger-turmeric tea the first thing this morning.

It was a reminder that I am not yet 100%.  Walking is OK, but the added load experienced by mildly hustling to grab a basketball (no jumping required, just faster movement than walking) for a few minutes was a little too much.  My knee will get better, and is getting better, and this unintentional "test" was a good indicator of my progress to date.  I am not ready yet for running, but I can keep moving.