Six month after surgery – recovering well!

Friday was the six month anniversary of my back surgery. It is difficult to believe that it is already six months. But then the time has really flown.So how has the recovery been?

Well, today I cycled 23km on my indoor trainer, which is the furthest  I have been since my operation (UI used to cycle 50-70km on the weekend).

My trainer is pretty cool; it is a TACX IMagic, which connects to my laptop. This means that I can cycle on one of several 3-dimentional virtual courses against virtual cyclists. Whenever I go uphill, the tension gets harder, and whenever I go downhill, the tension gets easier. I also have a couple of real-life courses. So I can cycle the Argus Cycle Tour and watch real footage in my lounge – great for winter training. It is pretty cool and really does makes indoor training quite fun!

The main difference between the indoor trainer and training outdoors, is that when you go downhill outdoors, you can stop peddling on the downhill, but on the indoor trainer you have to keep peddling all the time, otherwise you stop. This makes indoor training a lot more tiring, so my guestimate is that the 23km I did today is equivalent to about 40km on the road.

Technically, I am allowed to start running again, but I am not quite ready for that – I think I will stick to the cycling in the mean time.

Back to the recovery. Overall, I am much stronger than a few months ago. I am happily doing exercises now that I could not do several months before my surgery, so that is a very good sing. I do still get back pain, but not to the extent that I did before. In general if I do have pain, it is because I know that I have overdone something.

I have become far more aware of my back, from how I sit, bending correctly, being careful of heavy weights, etc. I am attending regular Gyrokinesis classes with Shari Rosenberg. Shari and her whole team are fantastic, and the classes are really helping me with my movement and strengthening of my back.

I have learned two things over the last six months. The first is to be patient. Anybody who knows me will know that patience is not one of my strongest points, but recovery takes a while – just one step at a time.

The second is that recovery is not a straight line towards improvement. It is continuous up and downhill process. Three steps forward and then one step back. However, the overall progress is forward, so I am very pleased.

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