Tuesday, March 5, 2013

After the Illness and getting back on the trail again

From the picture it doesn't look too steep. 

I haven’t blogged in a few weeks because after catching the Nero Virus, I came down with Pneumonia. Just three weeks after I recovered from the flu and was starting to exercise again, I went to Disneyland, and one day into the trip, I was sick. Not just sick, but very sick. 
What I didn’t do, is go to the doctor. I kept thinking I could overcome the ‘cold.’ I couldn’t recover on my own and ended up in emergency hacking up a lung and every major organ in it's neighborhood.
It’s been two weeks since my trip to the ER unable to breath. I left with a small grocery bag filled with instructions on how to take my numerous drugs. Fast forward, I rested, slept, and followed my doctor’s instructions to the letter. Here I am recovered, done with my drugs, but once more starting over again with my diet and exercise. I’m completely starting over again for the third time. If not for these very powerful illnesses my physical conditioning would be much further along. I did lose weight during the pneumonia because I wasn’t hungry. Not a good way to lose and I knew as soon as I recovered I’d be starving and that weight would come right back on. I am trying to be careful, since recovering, but it’s been a struggle.
This week I’ve started to exercise again. I did a dance video, rode my bike and hiked. I was surprised how easily I did all of them, especially, the hiking. This morning I went for a hike on my favorite trails near my son’s house. It’s a 1½ hr loop, most of which is up hill. When I hit my first nemesis hill I dug in and went for it. Then the second came along and the third, until I reached the top ridge and was on my way down. I did it.
I always feel like I really accomplished something when I go up those trails. I’m outdoors with the view of the hills ahead of me. I see deer, wild boar, wild turkey and just about everything else up there. I never feel alone, because of the popularity of the trials. There is the bird watching group where the average age is 80. There is the mommy running group, the dog walkers, the lone trail cyclist and my favorite a lady who lost 100lbs by first walking the trails, then built up to running. She told me her story once as we stood on the ridge catching our breath last spring, looking out over the deep green fields dotted with wild flowers. Her husband had been terminally ill, and of course she was his caretaker. She retired from a job she loved to be with him. Many of her friends disappeared during that time, and her life became her husband. She gained an enormous amount of weight, from depression and drinking. When her husband died, she continued on that path, until one day she saw who she had become in the mirror. She went for a walk. It was a simple as that, she went for a walk, and could barely make for ten minutes. That night she had her last bottle of wine and went for a walk in the morning. She did that until she built up, and started to see the weight disappear. Then she looked to the trails near her home and attempted to take the steep hills. She laughed, saying she thought she was going to die trying. The weight continued to disappear and she continued to walk, and hike. Then came the attempt at running. Now, not only does she run in marathons, she trains on those steep trails. She is very fit, down 100lbs on her weight, and no longer self-medicates with wine and she is 70yrs young.
This is the easier section to the big hill!
I saw her today and only waved because she was in the middle of her run. She looks fantastic. I so much want to be her when I grow up.
Tomorrow I’ll run the stairs with my sister-in-law at a local mall. When we’re done, I think I might go and take those trails again, just because. I appreciate my health more than ever after two very serious illnesses that nearly landed me in the hospital. I can’t imagine ‘not’ moving, not riding my bike, not taking those trails and cursing every step of the way until I’m on the downside, thinking I made it and all the good it did me.   


  1. I'm so glad to know you're feeling better, Lee. Walking is a perfect remedy for many ills, but it also stimulates creativity. Something you already have in excess, but, heck, we can always use more. Enjoy!

  2. I love to walk and hike outdoors. It does stimulates my already overactive imagination.