The past couple of days have been good and not so good, all rolled into the same day. Yesterday was my day off with the kids. We had a play date planned with my mom friend Erin and her two kids at a local gymnastics center for "power play", a 2 hour open play session. There are trampolines and balance beams, still rings, a foam pit and all the other standard gymnastics stuff. The most fun was the foam pit. We spent a lot of time in serious foam-warfare, throwing chunks of foam at each other while trying not to sink down too far into the pit. I tried my hand at the rock wall but didn't get very far (which I will blame on my daughter being just below me in the pit and making me worry I'd fall on her). We bounced on trampolines, hung on parallel bars, balanced on beams and swung on still rings. I was even able to swing my legs up and hook my feet into the rings! My back was iffy but I wasn't too uncomfortable to play.
I had at least as much fun as the kids and by the time we left 2 hours later I was wiped out! All that activity reinforced the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, of being strong and fit and able to use my body for all sorts of fun. It's so easy to forget these things at times when "dieting" seems so difficult. From there we headed to a pizza parlor with a play structure in it because my kids were apparently not as wiped out as I was. Miguel met us for lunch for the all-you-can-eat pizza and salad buffet - not the healthiest choice but I didn't go too crazy eating pizza. Just a little crazy.
I was in a great mood. Feeling energized by all the fun and the good company. I took the kids home for nap/quiet time and my energy level started to take a big dive. And then the cold symptoms set in, stuffy/runny nose, sore throat. Grrrr...there went my good mood. I settled on the couch and pretty much stayed there the rest of the evening. And my back was hurting more too. Insert violin track here.
I got up this morning and my back had gone from a minor irritation to outright pain. I wonder if laying on the couch all evening made it worse. I remember from my time working in a pain clinic that inactivity sometimes only makes back problems worse. Anyway, I took some ibuprofen and moved gingerly through my day. Mid-morning I started worrying about being able to walk if things got much worse. Ouch! Oh, and I definitely have a cold. Thank goodness for cold medicine.
I ended up being away from the office for lunch and had to decide what to buy. I remembered this local restaurant, Sol Food, that has a side order of black beans with a plantain and avocado. Perfect! I sat outside on their patio and enjoyed a comfort-foody, satisfying lunch all to myself. By now my back was hurting a bit less, though still clearly out of sorts.
After work I questioned going to the gym. I sometimes get stuck in a yes-no forced choice scenario when it comes to exercise and forget the sort-of option - go to the gym but tone down the duration and intensity, something I suggest to others but easily forget myself. So today I walked the walk, literally, and started with a 20 minute stroll on the treadmill. My back was a bit uncomfortable now and then but nothing major. I upped the incline to add a bit of a challenge and was at 5% by the time I hit the 20 minute mark. I think I walked about 1.2 miles.
Due up for strength training was back/biceps/core. I didn't want to bypass this again so I decided I'd do it but skip anything that hurt my back. Really it's only my lower back, my upper back seems fine, so I was able to do everything except back extensions (hello Lance!), including pull ups and seated rows. I am still doing my recovery plan from the pneumonia so I cut back the sets across the board. I spent a lot of time stretching. There was a guy there doing some back stretches I'd never seen so I picked his brain and learned some really good ones. I realized while I was stretching that I've been skimping on this part of my routine lately, rushing through the stretches to get out the door. Maybe that's part of why my back is not so happy. Today it was time well spent because I felt so much better when I left the gym.
Our weather forecast is kinda crappy for the next few days so I'm not sure what I'll be doing in terms of outdoor fun (besides hiding eggs!) but I know I'll manage to do something. My brother is planning to visit so maybe I can coax him out for an easy run. And then Monday is my follow-up chest x-ray. SO hopeful everything will be clear. If I don't blog before then, have a happy Easter and remember the holiday rule, Easter is one day, not two days, not a week, just one day. So relax and enjoy it...then back to your routine come Monday!