Monday, May 09, 2005

Riding a real bicycle, outdoors and with a TKR

Today was a new experience for my new knee: I rode a real bicycle. I had not been able to do this comfortably for at least a decade pre-surgery. And as they say, it IS just like riding a bike.

The biggest question of the day: would I be able to stand up and pump up the hills? Well, the answer was "YES!" Balance was a little awkward at first --- it's been a real long time since I had been on anything but a stationary bike --- but once I got comfortable with the idea, there was no problem.

This is a big day. If I can bicycle outdoors comfortably, my wife and I intend to begin cycling regularly. For our aging 50 year-old bodies, another aerobic physical activity can only be a good and healthy thing.

I need to tell you about the past weekend. It's spring and we are in serious gardening mode. Saturday, we laid about 600 SF of concrete pavers. Lifting, carrying, bending, kneeling. All with only the physical discomfort of unaccustomed activity. There was no pain.

Then, I tilled the garden beds (about 90 min of tilling) for the last time pre-planting, to incorporate lime and fertilizer. I then raked and formed the beds. All in all, I was on my feet, working outdoors for more than 10 hrs.

Sunday, we puttered. I mowed the lawn, did some planting and transplanting, and then ...

We saw our grown children's bicycles in the storage barn, and decided that it was time to try them out. What a great feeling to be able to be physically active again. Gardening. Outdoor chores. Biking.

I did not realize how much I was missing. The limitations caused by my arthritic knee occurred so gradually and over such an extended period of time that I never thought about what I was missing. I knew what I could and couldn't do, but I didn't think about what MORE I could be doing if only my knee worked. But now ...