Winter is Here

“Snow day!” “It’s beautiful!” “I want just one big storm!” “Everything is so pretty and white!” Barf.

We had our first snowfall of this winter yesterday. It was a storm that blasted most of the Eastern US from Northern Florida all the way up to Maine. In our inland locale, predictions started out with nothing then moved to a dusting, and then ramped up to 3-5″. The latter proved to be true. I look out my window this morning onto a desolate, frigid, colorless blanket of white. Can you tell I’m not a fan of snow and certainly not chirping out any of the phrases above? I didn’t like winter before, and the fact that I’m still recovering physically and financially from last year’s big hit doesn’t improve my attitude about it. But hey, I’m sure the nut jobs that love sliding down mountains on sticks think it’s great as do the people that don’t have to shovel it or drive in it. My apologies if you are a snow lover. Really though have you considered psychological evaluation?

Help is available for snow lovers who ask.

It is an interesting time of year. My peers with children are absolutely crazy busy. Christmas trees, shopping, visiting Santa, and plenty of other holiday related things are happening. The Christmas season is truly a season made for children. For me it is a time when activities diminish. Typically, by now my freezer is full and hunting season is winding down, and my goal races for the fall have been completed. This is usually when I might race for fun in one of the many great winter series (such as Shiver by the River), or when I cast an eye toward the following season and shift into more strength training or working on other fundamentals. Most of my other activities rely on good weather and daylight which are not to be had for most of winter.

If you are one of those that suffer from severe insomnia and your doctor has prescribed following my blog, or if you follow for some other masochistic reason then you know I’m am about midway through rehabbing from the surgery. This means no winter racing and no real strength training for a while. The only thing on the increase at the moment is the numbers on the scale.

I can say rehab is going swimmingly. After last week’s minor leaf raking set back, I can say things feel pretty damned good. There may have been some divine intervention involved. I tweaked my back a bit on Thursday. I was on my way to work and noticed a pedestrian being attacked by a grizzly bear. I leaped into action and while placing a strangle hold on said ursine, something popped in my . . that wasn’t really what happened. I was climbing a 150′ oak tree to rescue a stranded kitten and pulled a muscle whilst swatting at an eagle that tried to steal the kitten . . . okay that wasn’t what happened either.

I stooped down to adjust the seat on a spin bike at the gym. I didn’t bend. I stooped. Pop! OUCH!!! What the hell!? I stood there holding the SI joint area of my back unable to move for 5 minutes. Finally, the waves of pain subsided enough that I could walk a few steps. Happily, I didn’t vomit as the pain pierced my back and down my leg. After a few steps the pain receded to a tingle. So much for an easy morning spin.

More dangerous than bears and eagles.

The pain lingered throughout the day. Any indiscrete twist or awkward step resulted in a “delightful” shot of pain radiating from my lower back. Before heading to the afternoon physical therapy session I downed 600mg of ibuprofen. Thursday’s PT with Vanessa was conservative and reduced in intensity. We had been on the cusp of adding five new exercises but she decided to hold off until the back thing resolved.

As noted previously, I have some pretty advanced scoliosis and once in a while these things happen.

Your spine is NOT supposed to look like this.

I know that keeping fit and strong helps overcome the effects of  my warped spine. I’m sure the fact that I’ve done nothing of consequence fitness-wise  since surgery played a factor in the “pop”. Fortunately, we are at the point in rehab where exercises are getting more vigorous and strength-focused. This should lend itself well to avoiding further incidence lest I find myself needing to fight off a bear or eagle or worse, having to make a minor bike adjustment.


As noted last time, I’d been concerned that despite time and therapy I still woke up each day with some stiffness and soreness around the left hip where the labrum was repaired. This was exacerbated last week by doing yard work but even on good days until then there was at least a little tightness. There is enough evidence to show that taking a lot of NSAIDS such as ibuprofen can inhibit healing. Overuse of these drugs can also lead to other problems with the liver and kidneys so I try to be conservative. While I have not been taking anything for the post-surgical soreness, I did take a few doses of ibuprofen for my back otherwise it was a bit debilitating. The ibuprofen helped my back considerably and, now that I’m done with it, any soreness in my hip has all but vanished. In this case, perhaps a dose or two may have been prudent. This revelation has been a happy side effect of the back tweak.

I have learned over the years of racing and training that sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Between the self-induced setback early in the week and then the back problem I was kind of the bug the last few days. But now I feel pretty good and know that in the weeks to come rehab steps up in intensity fairly significantly. I also return to Vincera Institute for my next evaluation on the 18th and am hoping for some “light at the end of the tunnel” type of news for getting back to running, riding, and swimming. When I look at the calendar it is only 10 weeks until pitchers and catchers report. From there, warm weather can’t be far away. Look out bugs!





  1. I don’t believe I need any kind of psychiatric evaluation, but I can’t wait until I get some time to strap on my ski’s and slide down some snow covered hills!! You should try it sometime, it’s never too late to learn something new!!

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