Pain in the Ash

I’ve been nursing a real bad neck as of late, I have no idea what might have caused it, all I know is that it’s been nagging me for awhile now. It could be the gym, quite possibly from shoveling or maybe it’s the way I slept, something has been causing me to slow turn my head for the past two weeks. I was never one to just tolerate the pain so I have been doing my best to rehab it as much as possible, so far, though, the pain keeps coming back.  Over the years I’ve  accumulated my share of bumps, bruises, and broken bones but with time I healed and the pain all went away, I always bounced back 100%.

This neck thing does bother me a lot, but I’m still doing everything I normally do, there’s a discomfort but I manage the pain enough to get through it. To aid in my recovery, I’m using the help of the gym, heating lotions, stretching and my doctor has prescribed me some pills too but I only take them when I absolutely need to (not a fan).  I have resorted to a more physiotherapy like approach when it comes to my gym workout and I make sure not to overdo it which is important when you are rehabbing any type of injury. Best not to push it and make something worst.  If you sit at a desk all week like I do it’s good to take some time during your day to work out your strained muscles, working in front of a monitor can wreak havoc on your posture and can also make an existing injury flare up something fierce.  I try to pay attention to how I am sitting to alleviate some discomfort created by slouching or hunching over at my desk which I’m guilty of from time to time.  Heat has seemed to provide me with the most relief; I have been using a magic bag and a heat rub to loosen the tight muscles in my neck. When it comes to our bodies, we know ourselves the best and we all respond to treatment differently; some of the things that I have suggested are things that you can try for yourself.  I do want to point out that if you are experiencing pain on any level, it’s best to consult a doctor and then with that advice you can start your road to recovery.

Dealing with pain is awful; my stepfather had to live with pain each and every day for about a five year period not long ago.  He injured himself on the job and was faced with a future of surgeries, painkillers, and extensive rehab that even then provided no absolute surety that he would get back to his old self. I saw that man who is by far the strongest man I know concede that he was at the mercy of chronic pain and on his darkest day cursed everything and wanted to quit. I earned a lot of respect for people suffering in chronic pain because of the hell my stepdad had to endure during his recovery. Because of his will and the support of the family, he’s completely back to himself today but for awhile there, he was doubtful that he would ever truly be rid of the pain entirely.

Staying healthy is a challenge, we try our best to take care of ourselves but sometimes the unpredictability of life proves that anything can happen. We break and bleed all the time, as far back as our days of bumping into corners and falling off our bikes, we are all too familiar with the feeling of pain. Now that I’m older it’s becoming apparent that I may not fix as easy as I used to, I need to do my part but I also need to accept going to the doctor when something doesn’t feel right. I know people who avoid the hospital at all the time which actually puzzles me, why?  Ego? Denial? I can’t answer that question for anyone but myself but I hope my dialog has made you think about how important it is to look after yourself.  We have friends and family that love and depend on us so we have to think about them too, they matter and so do you, don’t forget that. My neck got me thinking and this post was just my way of exploring my thought…next time I make a post though I promise it won’t be so much of a Pain in the Ash.

 

I want to ride my bicycle…

Wow it’s been a long time since my last post, just needed the inspiration I guess and I have just the reason to start writing again.  Soooooo, I got a bike, yup for my birthday and since then I have been biking every chance I get since April, it’s become my new passion. As soon as I got on that bike I was instantly hooked, I was even mad at myself for not getting a bike sooner.  So far, having a bike is a plus for me on so many levels, keeps me fit, helps me de-stress and the big one is that I get to take advantage of being outside.  If you are looking to expand your horizons and your fitness portfolio I suggest taking up biking.

I’ve been using Map My Ride as my primary tracking app and it helps me keep a finger on the pulse of exactly how far I’ve gone and certainly a good gauge as to how long I expect my journey to last. The app keeps track of your workouts and I can say that it’s very satisfying knowing exactly what you accomplished.  Actually for me, the journey is the best part, you can go anywhere, no boundaries and all you need is a direction. There’s this trail way network that runs right along my neighbourhood in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and I have been using that mostly so far as I am getting more and more experienced as a rider.  The  trail way can take you east and it can take to west and then some, there are quite a few attractions along the way and plenty to photograph.

I have been usually hitting about 30K each time I go slowly aiming to get further every time.  You would be surprised how far you are capable of going when you put your mind to it.  Most of the time I find myself not wanting to stop, there is so much to see and so many paths not taken that has continued to keep me curious as to where I will end up next.  

I see a lot of people using the trail way, there’s kids playing in playgrounds, people feeding the ducks, some the swans, there was even a group of people heading out for a canoe ride.  The pond was perfect for it and it looked like a lot of fun, they seemed to be enjoying it, it was beautiful on the water.

It was warm and I really had to focus to get going, the heat zapped my motivation pretty quick but I struggled through and it was ok once I concentrated on my pace. Hydration was key, I made sure to drink more to accommodate for the high temperatures and because I was sweating a lot more than usual I made sure to stay on top of my water intake.

One of the best parts of biking is the way it makes me feel, it’s like the kid in me that enjoys exploring the unknown just takes over and there’s no telling where I will end up.  I always wonder how far I would be capable of going if I really tried one day, the one thing I do know is that I intend to find out.  Anybody can ride a bike and I bet if you took a chance and gave it a shot you would agree, for those who already have biking in there arsenal I hope to see you out on the trails sometime, it’s fun ain’t it?

To close I intend to blog about my trips and I aim to challenge a few trail ways in my area.  I am going to make that a goal of mine for the summer and well into the fall.  I plan to document my excursions and post some pictures to diarize my accomplishments, you’re very welcome to virtually come along.

Happy trails

Ash