I’m finding this whole back to fitness (the second time) journey really quite interesting indeed. It is totally different to the first time, which was life changing in itself, this time I feel like its life ‘RESTORING’!!
I thought that it would be like starting over, since someone deconstructed my leg and I was sitting around like an invalid for so long. I thought about it and actually, it was probably 4 years or so, since I felt like I was able to do the fitness regime that I wanted to. So, I suppose that 5 months post total knee replacement really was not that long to wait, in the grand scheme of things!
English or Kiwi?
Another interesting thing has started to happen too. I am not sure when this started to occur, I did not notice the transformation until now. Becoming less English. For as long as I can remember, almost, I have thought in British Pounds (my laptop doesn’t even have the symbol any more!!!) and translated things back to dollars. I am finding that actually, I have lost all sense of British monetary value and now I think in NZ$ and translate it back the other way.
I am watching the British version of Strictly come Dancing (2017 season) at the moment, which has just come to NZ television. This program was my all time favourite in the UK, but even this seasons programs, I do not recognise all of the stars. I can’t imagine what the people of NZ think of the program, as I know MOST of the celebrities and know their backgrounds. Will there be a time when I completely lose touch? It is so hard to keep up with the UK news and TV when what is shown to you from another country is heavily filtered by foreigners, in effect.
I will always class myself as British, but I no longer truly feel like a Brit. Does that make sense? I watch UK programs and look at the scenery, thinking wow, those houses are so tiny, man, those roads are so skinny, and h my goodness how many cars?!? I sound like a Southlander already! ACK!
Back to cycling
It has been so so long since I have properly been cycling with some type of purpose, that I really did not know how this would go. When I started out, my arms hurt, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt, this body was NOT used to a time trial bike way of life. So I have been gradually re-persuading this body how to do things, starting short and working up from there.
I am quite surprised when I look at the small incremental improvements, how well it is going actually, for only 5 months post total knee replacement. everyone keeps telling me that its not possible so I keep ignoring them all!
- Shoulders and neck getting used to the TT position.
- Cycling fitness improving with a current 40 min average speed of 27kmph. Not as fast as I used to be at race speed, but I can see it improving week on week.
- Endurance TT pace tolerance improving in the TKR. 0.5kmph and 10 mins added to the best pace / time at anaerobic effort level in roughly a month.
- Swim fitness recovering well, now I am turning to endurance rather than speed and considering I have not swum for a long time, I am knocking out 3km swims with relative ease!
- I have achieved the supposed max flexion of a TKR: 130 degrees. Soooooo… how much further can I get? The other knee achieves 145 degrees, can this one manage the same?
- Someone asked me recently what was there that I still could not do. I actually couldn’t think of anything and my list of things that I now CAN do again was longer!
Still to work on
- Muscle power. I have a significant amount of muscle atrophy which will take a long time to get back, considering it probably started a long time BEFORE the knee replacement.
Here are some snippets of my latest ride out. I am so happy that I am out on the roads again, I feel more complete with exercise as part of my life. I did not expect to feel like that at all. However at the same time I guess I should not be surprised either!
This is an annual event and between rides (and work) it was nice to take a few hours out to wander around this fair. They are true gypsies, they fund their lifestyle by selling their wares at various stops on the travelling fair’s year round New Zealand journey. Most have electricity and some now also have eftpos. The home made wooden vans of all shapes and sizes always fascinate me! How cool it would be to live such a ‘free’ lifestyle!