Friday, June 23, 2017

More Returning to Normal

We always meet at the same place. As usual, I arrived to find Stephanie already there waiting for me. She was young, much younger than I am, a petite triathlete, her corn silk hair tied back in a braid. She approached me and without saying a word lifted up my shirt, ...

... attached the EKG electrodes and said, "OK, after I take your blood pressure you can go warm up on the treadmill."

Ha! Fooled you, didn't I?

Yes, I'm still in cardiac rehab with the other old fogies, being supervised by a staff of Millenials: nurses and exercise physiologists. It's like getting a little taste of the nursing home experience while I'm still only in my 50's!

The good news is that I'm also getting back into more of my regular activities.

To HDCC on two wheels!
Last Wednesday I made it to the Wednesday "Hump Day Coffee Club" on two wheels. I had started making it there a few weeks earlier using Valerie's trike; this was the first time I was cleared to do it on a big boy bike. In the picture above you can even see a little bit of my bike peeking in behind Steve Claeys (red handlebars on the right).

First time in a kayak
 The following day I made it to the Thursday night Pirates of Georgetown paddle for the first time since my surgery. I had gotten Teddy and David to help load my boat, and I was very nervous about my ability to paddle, since it's such a core and upper body activity. I took it really slowly - and fortunately, a new paddler joined us. He was really slow, slower than my slow paddling, so I wasn't slowing the group down. Kayaking felt great. I didn't feel bad afterwards, but apparently I was pretty tired. So tired that I must not have been thinking straight: when I unloaded my gear I apparently forgot to close the rear hatch of my car - I found it still open the next morning when I went out to get the newspaper. Fortunately, the car was backed into the driveway and still had the kayak on top, so the half-way open hatch (as far as it would go with the kayak still on top of the car) wasn't too evident from the street.
Larry, Tom and me at the end of the first outing
This past Tuesday I went out again, this time just with Tall Tom. I paddled faster and felt fine - though we did do a slightly shorter outing. We went up Roosevelt Island channel to the tip of the Island then back down and through the Boundary Channel back to the marina. That's about 1/2 mile shorter than the five miles I had done on Thursday. As always, the Boundary Channel was intriguing with its combination of urban blight and natural beauty. There were ospreys fishing back there that night. Meanwhile, Tom was plucking floating trash, including plastic containers, out of the water.

This thing bothers my scar
I've even picked up the accordion. Believe it or not, I think I found that more challenging than kayaking or cycling. The darn thing is heavy, takes a lot of arm power, and the bellows rubs against my scar. But I will persevere on all fronts, because doing these things sure feels good!



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