Sam’s monthly check in: Well, July was a blur…

Like most academics I’m shocked and surprised that is August. How did that happen? Yikes!

August is like the Sunday of summer

August is when I realize I haven’t started all the writing projects I thought I’d make slow but steady progress on over the summer and that I’m teaching a grad seminar in a few weeks in addition to deaning. It’ll all be fine. I’ll get it all done. But the sense of endless summer weeks stretching out ahead of me are gone.

This summer had a slow pandemic-related start in terms of getting to do all the warm weather outdoorsy things I like to do. Like, I’m finally going canoe camping but next week but August is a bit late for my first time out paddling.

Also, I’ve got to say, this year, 2020, the year that started for us worrying about the youngest child and Australian bush fires and has been a blur of Covid-19 ever since, has turned me from a low grade worry wart to a full on ‘anxious about all the people in my life’ sort of parent. I want to give August a stern talking to.

A stern talking to the month of August. Be quiet and behave.

July did see me getting outside more on my bike. In fact, July’s fitness highlights were all bike related. I loved weekends of ice cream rides at Sarah’s farm which included outdoor, physically distant visits with friends. I also loved riding and racing on Zwift where I’ve joined Team TFC.

Here’s the team guidelines which I like and seem to be held to:

  1. TFC is a close knit community so all riders should be ready to help and give advice to all members.
  2. Be passionate about the team and support team mates wherever possible.
  3. All riders should work towards a common goal of trying to improve the team
  4. Respect other riders on the platform.
  5. Respect the ride and ride leader especially if it is another group ride.
  6. In a group ride be ready to help riders who may be struggling.
  7. Remember that the idea of racing is to improve so give 100% every race.
  8. Enjoy the time on the platform whether that is a ride, race, workout or a social spin.

I’ve also started getting outside for work visits with coworkers. Wherever possible I’m trying to do things outside. I’m nervous about the winter ahead.

I’ve also been feeling kind of weepy about missing the bike rally and riding with big groups of people. You can make me feel better by sponsoring me in the virtual rally.

I’m trying not to live to much in memories of things I did close up with lots of other people in years past and in anticipation of doing those things again in the future, but sometimes I let myself indulge.

In that spirit, here’s some photos from rides in years past.

Finally, I don’t know where things stand with my knee replacement. I don’t know if things have gotten better or if I’ve just gotten used to it but the good news is that it isn’t getting worse. I also don’t know if in light of COVID-19 it’s been delayed at all.

Stay tuned!

accessibility · aging · inclusiveness · injury · weight loss

Sam is checking in for February, #monthlycheckin, cw: mention of weight loss

Good news!

My knee survived a week in Europe with many days of mega steps. I paid a lot of attention to how it felt, wore the knee brace sometimes but not at others, took anti inflammatory medication regularly, and stretched lots. Sarah helped lots too.

Now that I’m back home physiotherapy continues, massage therapy continues, personal training continues, and I’m back to my bike on the trainer, bike commutes, and dog walks. All of that counts, except the massages, on my quest to workout 219 times in 2019.

I’m so happy to see all the hard work paying off.

Next up: NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour in May.

After that, lots and lots of training before our 10 day bike tour of Newfoundland in June.

Bad news!

Weight loss is hard. (We all know this.) You might think that if you had a serious medical reason to lose weight, then you’d do it. But your body doesn’t know your motives. It doesn’t care what your intentions are. It’s super hard.

Wish me luck.

monthly check in

Sam’s monthly check-in: What’s up, what’s down, the August version (CW: some discussion of weight loss)

Sam’s bitmoji (a white woman with blond short hair and glasses and lipstick) wearing a purple sleeveless tank top, with arms spread wide saying, “I got this.”

What’s up: I feel like I’m making progress with my knee. In a way I’m not sure why. Sometimes I think I might just be getting used to the new limits on my life but I don’t think that’s it. I think it actually hurts less. And that’s good news. I’m still working on it lots (physio!) but I’m also getting outside, riding my bike, going on long hikes and feeling okay about things.

I’m following the very strong recommendation of several knee surgeons that I lose weight and I’m actually seeing a doctor for an evidence based approach to weight loss. He’s a young guy, from a fitness background first before medical school, and he follows the approach of Yoni Freedhoff whose book I reviewed here. There’s no magic to it. I’m using My Fitness Pal and tracking all the things. I’ve lost some weight. Lots more to go. I know the real trick will be keeping it off if I want to be a weight loss unicorn. I’m going to see if I rebrand, in my own mind at least, constant vigilance as paying attention. And it’s good that I don’t mind tracking things.

Since I posted in July, I’ve completed the 1 day version of the Friends for Life Bike Rally. See Sam and Sarah’s first metric century of the summer. That was a huge mood boost. I was so happy to be on my bike again. And Sarah and I visited Jeff on the boat for our 2nd biking and boating adventure. It was fun on the boat, but the biking not so much. See Biking and boating round two: Sam has a great day on the boat.

Other than that I’m lifting weights at the gym, sometimes alone, sometimes with a personal trainer who is helping with knee rehab (hi Meg!) and sometimes with my son Miles who is going to university here this year. I’m also going on longer, hillier dog hikes being careful to remember my knee brace.

Also, on the upside of life, Sarah and I have been Snipe racing. We didn’t capsize, drown, or crash into any other boats. Yes, we were last but we kept the other boats in sight and stayed a safe distance behind as we learn to sail. Learning through racing. It’s a thing. See Sam and Sarah’s first night of snipe racing!

What’s down: I want to ride my bike! But when? Where? With whom? ARGH! I hate riding on my own but I have a horrible schedule. And now with losing the evening light opportunities are pretty much limited to weekends. I think I’ll plan a birthday bike ride for Saturday, September 1st. (My birthday is actually the day before but that’ll be a night for a family BBQ in the backyard and cake.) 54 km for 54 years?