Secret ’fit at fifty’ operation under threat

Late last year I set myself a secret operation to be as fit as possible when I reached 50. It’s now 7 weeks until the big day and my plans have been derailed considerably by back pain and the consequential lack of mobility.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I spent a weekend doing a combination of a couple of sessions out on the water kayaking and stoopping over a bike doing bike maintenance. Although the latter left a dull ache, it wasn’t until the Monday morning that suddenly my back seized and the discomfort began.

I had hoped that a combination of regular doses of paracetamol, ibuprofen, stretching, foam rolling, heat therapy and rest would help and I’d be able to get back on with my reasonably active life but recovery has been slow.

That’s meant limited sleep, no cycle commutes to and from work, no running or on-the-water activities and a struggle to get out of chairs and bed.

Although I appreciate that ‘it’s only a bad back’ and it was self-inflicted through inadequate care (likely caused by not warming up before kayaking and poor form/technique whilst paddling and not raising my bike up in its maintenance stand for the hour or so that I was working on it), the impact has been frustrating.

I am focused (for the umpteenth time) on losing weight as part of my ‘fit at fifty’ operation and not cycling each day has meant not having 500-700 calorie bonus due to the exercise calorie burn each work day.

As well as the benefit of burning calories, my regular exercise does make me happier. The lack of exercise and pain has meant being grumpy and fed up. Thankfully, I’ve had a few things to take my mind off the negatives including an exciting project at work and the preparation of the yearly accounts for the Beavers/Cubs/Scout group I’m the treasurer for.

The positive news is that I’m being good, tracking calories and working hard to not exceed my target calorie goal each day and that appears to be working in my favour. I’m also hoping that I’m setting a habit of consuming less ‘bad stuff’ each day and that habit may just ‘stick’ for a while once I’m back to regular exercise.

I have my fingers crossed that a weekend of rest, trying to keep mobile and self care will allow me to get back to cycling next week.

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