Friday, February 27, 2015

Injury Recovery Part 39 - The Road Ahead

As the rain returned this week, I found myself longing for clear days, open road and the wind in my face. 

It is amazing how much you learn about your body when you really focus on recovery.  When you get to a certain point it is so easy to take your foot off the gas and start to coast.  The pain is there but it is manageable and whilst things are not firing properly you can get through the day.  So much so that most people would not even know there was an issue.

It is even harder when you fall into the pattern of responding to work and life demands all the while telling yourself, things will improve.  Well if you have followed along with my recovery you will know that I am not someone to settle for mediocrity especially after training so hard to get fit last year.  But that said I totally see the trap and how easy it is to put up with things, well just not working quite right.

I have been amazed at how my body has responded to recovery, that is amazed in a what the hell kind or way rather than an in a that's really cool kind of way, and how there is no one thing to fix it all, or was that one ring to find them all? sorry that just slipped out.  The body does an amazing job of protecting itself and adjusting to situations on its own, but for whatever reason it does not do such a good job of figuring out how to re-adjust .  I have found myself ponding more than once how unfair and down right flawed the system is.  Maybe back in the dim and distant past we had the innate ability to tune into the needs of the body as we recovered from a hunting injury, or maybe we just got eaten by a dinosaur as part of natures natural selection. 

Regardless, today as I am finding out in abundance it takes active participation.  I have had to spend time thinking, yup thinking about what I can and can't do.  For example I could not tighten my butt muscles and it took me focusing and thinking about it before finally I could turn them on. 

Lets talk cycling.  So I am determined to get back to riding and getting in the wind, but last month I just could not wrap my head around how to do it.  Every time I got on the bike I would end up with back pain or glute pain.  That was when I made the decision to change to a cycling specific PT.  We dialed in my bike fit and dialed down my bike time to 30 minute sessions at a cadence of around 80 - 90 rpm with low resistance, every other day.  The days in between I do specific exercises and every day I do some Foundation Training.  I have found out that one side of my body from the waist down is weak and overworked because the other side of the body is just not pulling its weight.  Ironically the side that is overworked is lit up and really grumpy and the other side is like Meh.  So now my focus has switched to the lazy side.

Above the waist things are still solid and not in a muscular toned way but rather in a wooden board way.  Even focusing on laying flat without my ribs popping off the floor is a challenge.   But the good news is that progress is being made.  Nights are still not what you would call restful but this week I have ridden the most since the accident and still feel like I could ride this weekend.

I have a cunning backup plan and it is called an electric bike.  I signed up for a couple of Sondors eBikes (  I have to say it is the cheapest bike I have been the most excited to receive.  I really can't wait to go riding with Sarah and have her pace me.  But wait I must as they are not going to be hear until May at the earliest.

Whatever you do this weekend - Max Life Out (it truly is a gift).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Syncro Part 6 - Last Pictures Until Done

Last week Sarah and I stopped by North-Westy and made our last big decisions before our new baby is born.  We chose the final paint colors and walked through options.  With choices made we now have to sit back and wait for the big day.

Here are the last pictures we will see before going in to pick it up :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Feb: Wet Westies at Deception Pass

Packed up and ready we headed out on Friday night to join the Wet Westies at Deception Pass State Park.  As we headed down the road I let work stresses drain away and handed control over to Benny our faithful 1985 VW westfalia  letting him and the road calm my active mind with the promise of good times to come.

Being so early in the year the only camp ground open was on the opposite side of the road.   Sarah and I were both curious about it having not camped there before and to be honest I did not know it was there.

We had booked earlier in the week as sites were filling up quickly as it seemed that only a few were available.  Soon after arriving Larry the organizer emailed letting everyone know that 30 more sites were available on a first come first serve basis.  This was good news for those who wanted to move to be closer to friends or had not booked.
Before heading to camp we stopped off by the sea to walk the girls and take in one of our favorite spots.  Candy is still not allowed to run as her leg heals but we could not deny her a walk on the beach.  After a snack and with lungs full of sea air we headed over the road and pitched in for the night.  With the propex heater running Benny was soon nice a warm and just perfect for dinner, a read and an episode of counting cars before bed.  There is nothing quite like a nights sleep in Benny.  We always seem to sleep better.

Saturday saw the arrival of many more vans and soon doubling up was necessary as even with the 30 first come first serve sites the camp ground was full to capacity with a scout group and many others that were taking advantage of the beautiful February weather.  With so many campers and so few facilities open due to being early in the season, and did I mention a scout group, you can imagine the state of the wash rooms, on second thoughts don't.  We were glad to have small luxuries such as a Porta Potty and the new poop in a bag seat.  I know, I know not exactly polite conversation but for us campers that don't want to use a toilet that looks like a bomb has gone off in it or be forced to use a vault toilet or dig a  hole in the ground (not at a state park please) the $16 poop in a bag seat is a life saver.  Oh and pooping in the Porta potty in our van is a no no.  Number ones strictly enforced.
With so many vans moving sites and doubling up it was not long before Mr Ranger man showed up to check on proceedings.  There was a little confusion regarding permission to double up but thankfully he was not a by the book kind of guy and helped sort it all out so no one was dragged kicking a screaming from the park. 

I want to thank Larry our host for organizing the event.  It was great to see everyone and hang out.  Andrew shared a story of his time in Italy that made me want to ship our van over tomorrow and start an adventure.  It was fun to see Curt with his new drone, boy that thing goes high.  The fun was sadly short lived as Curt told me Mr Ranger showed up and informed him that drones are no longer legal in state parks.

Later everyone looked to be having a great time at the pot luck.  For those curious we do not participate as we eat a paleo diet and without knowing all the ingredients it is easier to join the fun at the fire afterwards.  If anyone is interested in a paleo pot luck let us know and we would be happy to participate.  Oh and if you are curious about changing your diet we are happy to share our journey if it helps inspire you.

After a great time catching up around the camp fire we headed back to Benny for another restful night.


Benny and New Stuff

As a VW vanagon owner you learn there personality and there is always something to do either new or unexpected.  This trip was no exception.  When we popped the top we were surprised to find small spots of mold especially since the roof was replaced last year.  At first we put it down to one of those things but then on closer inspection the seam at the back has come away and there is damp all along the rear roof line and in the seam at the side.  Looks like a trip back to the shop.

Taking advantage of the nice weather I replaced a 12v outlet that has been troublesome especially when we travel with our ARB fridge.  Yup it was a 10 minute job that only took 15 minutes, I call that a win.

Lastly we tested out a new solar battery charger.  It worked well charging both my phone and tablet.  At the start of the day it had 2 of 4 bars lit up, after leaving it out all day the indicator showed it charging but by the end of the day still 2 bars.  More testing needed but I was a little disappointed.  Still it got the job done and can be charged from shore power.



I could not close a Wet Westies campout post without shots of all the cool vans in there natural habitat :)

Until the next camp out whatever you chose to do - Max Life Out.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Steam Punk - The Fun Continues

Some times I am not sure if my new found passion for steam punk is a good thing as I now find myself collecting odds and ends that I think would be cool rather than throwing them away.  Today I passed a brass colored table lamp.  I was not a minute passed it when back I went to pick it up.  If it did not work the parts could be repurposed, that was the thinking, so home it came and to my surprise is actually worked, go figure.  Now the imagining starts, here's what it looks like today.  Who knows what it will look like tomorrow.

Whilst in Port Townsend in January we found a store that specializes in steam punk clothing.  No excuse was needed not to get Sarah a cool outfit, now I just have to finish her gun to finish off the outfit.

Even the girls are getting in on the fun

Whatever you do be sure to Max Life Out .....