I think we overdid it…

Standing next to saguaro with many arms
Standing next to a saguaro. They grow their first arms at around 100 years old.

My bones ache. My muscles are tired. I don’t know why it’s so hard to recover. Maybe we overdid it and got carried away. Every weekend we go for a hike. When we started out with life in Arizona, we explored new areas to hike, but no more than two or three miles a day.

A week ago Friday, we had a visit from my sorority big sister and her husband. Wonderful surprise to see them after many years — and to learn that they are buying a home a few miles away! We went for a five-mile hike with them on the nature’s preserve across the street. It was a gorgeous afternoon and so much fun to catch up on the past 10 years or so of our lives.

Then as we walked them out in the dusk to their car, we were showing them our yard — I tripped over a cactus and flew onto our brick walkway landing on both knees and hands. Hard! I was stunned and didn’t bounce back to my feet. My husband had to help me up and I felt like a fool. Our friends were worried about me and I assured them I was fine.

Ever since my knee surgery, I have to think about how to get up. It’s like I’ve fallen on a steep ski slope and I have to make sure I’m positioned perpendicular to the slope with my skis below me before I can push myself up. My physical therapist had to teach me how to get up after surgery and had me practice it. I have to put my knees below my butt, sitting on my side before I push myself up — just like getting up on the slopes. That’s why I was not bouncing up after tripping over the cactus. It’s a mental thing but also my knees and hands hurt.

Trail signs on the McDowell Sonaran preserve
The trails have great signs so it’s nearly impossible to get lost.

Fast forward to yesterday and I felt no pain in my knees and only my right hand still hurts, so we went for another hike. We brought a trail map with us and found a loop across the street from our house. It was on the hot side, but there was a nice breeze. I didn’t slip or fall and made it through the six miles of undulating trails through the Sonoran Desert without a hitch.

When we got home I felt tired. So did my husband. We took a cold water plunge and went waist high into our freezing cold pool to get our legs back under us. Then I luxuriated on a zero gravity lounge reading a novel for an hour. What a gorgeous, perfect Sunday.

The cold water plunge reminded me of my daughter during swim meets when she had prelims and finals with a few hour break between sessions. She’d fill the hotel tub with ice and water and soak in the freezing cold ice bath to recover.

Today I woke up and tried to stand up. Yikes. I’m sore and tired. Moving kind of slow for a Monday.

Backyard pool in Arizona
I took a plunge into this freezing pool to recover from our hike.

Do you find it harder to recover as you get older? Or, is everything still as easy as ever. Do you have any tips that make it easier?

10 thoughts on “I think we overdid it…

  1. My husband and I joined a few hundred folks on a 10K last Saturday. We finished dead last..a first for us..but here’s the deal, we had our 8/9? pound dog along who walked about 1.5 miles..the rest of the time she was in the puppy stroller. There was some sniffing and peeing so yeah..that took time. My husband could have run this thing in a 1/4 of the time had he wanted (he-unlike me-is in great shape)..lastly, the bottom of my feet hurt at the end..like that feeling when you are barefoot for too long on tile floor. Can’t blame the shoes..they are good ones. Must be age.–With regards to falling, I usually take a minute there on the floor to do a self-body scan before I get up..just to make sure everything is still attached.. I always have that OH OH feeling, like oh no..this time..this time.. I coulda really done somethin’.

  2. A great post and beautiful photos.
    Thanks for letting us know about the zero gravity lounge. I plan on getting a couple of those.

  3. Is that a trick question!? My whole blog is named after me taking fifteen minutes to ease my way out if bed…😉

  4. That is a beautiful picture! I have PT coming up at the VA as I have had some trouble with my hip. They really bothered me last year while teaching full time. Since March, I have been online part time and recovering. Yeah, it does take time to recover but we are working on getting stronger.

  5. I am glad to have the resources of the VA open to me. At first I felt guilty as there are others more in need but my husband and doctor encouraged me to take advantage of it.

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