Never think a simple thing like a bike ride doesn’t need preparation. Just sayin’.
As I am currently a little under the weather, due to back muscle soreness, I am faced with the saddest thing that I can think of: I am not as young as I used to be. However, as every day passes, that is true for all of us. So when I thought about it that way, I felt a lot better about getting older.
Have you ever had muscles so sore that you just want to cry? Or walked or ran for so long that the next few days your first steps were identical to those of a baby giraffe? That hurts! Not only that, it hurts extra when you don’t know what exactly is hurting or why. Oh, and why does it always seem to be worse the second day after the incident? Ugh! For me it was a double whammy.
On Sunday, I thought I was going to be fun and ride my bike to work. Now, I haven’t ridden a bike in 25 years, easily. That is, if you don’t count the 5 minutes of being on a stationary bike at the gym. I’ve never truly owned a bike but I used to ride my friend’s bike often. Silly me, I bought into the whole “it’s like riding a bike” mentality, and thought I would just zoom down the expressway like I do in my car. HA!
Here I am pedaling and pedaling and feeling like I would be making the same traveling time if I were walking. I am beginning to get a little warm even though it’s 7:45 in the morning. I can feel the work out I am getting in my legs and I am okay with that. What I don’t realize is that this posture and the shock that my body is absorbing from the occasional bump is taking a toll on me without my even suspecting. I don’t know if it’s because I have bigger things to think about; such as why is my front wheel no longer aligned with my handle bars?; why has it taken me 20 minutes to get a mile and a half?; and why aren’t the gears shifting at all?
With this being my first bike ride in 20+ years, I was super tense about the trip already. What is one of the things that happen when you are tense? Well, when you are gripping or grabbing something, your strength is multiplied and your shoulders creep up closer to your ears. So thanks to that tenseness, I had my arms locked and instead of letting my arms bend to ease the shock, I let it all go into my shoulders. Also, as I have yet to master the “stand up on your pedals when you hit a bump”, (Ouch!) and I let my lower back take a beating by absorbing all the road to sidewalk transitions I rode through.
So the lesson here is to be sure to stretch before you do that bit of exercise regardless of how simple you think it may be. I failed to do so, and I have been paying for it these last two days. Thank Alieve for getting me through work on Monday. I felt like I was going to be sick when the pain waves hit me.
After stretching for a bit and always doing a little throughout the day things seem to be getting back to normal. We’ll see what tomorrow holds. Take care of yourselves my friends!
Have you forgotten to stretch before doing something that had this same result, like dancing all night at the club? Let me know. How did you handle it? Or maybe I am just being a big baby? What do you think?