Today Jeanie & I packed up the truck to head to the mountains east of Seattle with our snowshoes. Though last year I did ski with Outdoors For All, this would be my first time back trying snowshoeing. It was a Sunday with no football on TV, so it was busy with Skiers & other snowshoers. We were forced to walk quite a ways from where we parked. I kidded with Jeanie that I was going to be tired before I even strap my snowshoes on.
We started out on a well-groomed relatively flat trail. As I was feeling pretty good with myself with a bit of energy I thought to spare, we decided to head off & up into the deeper powder. It was a lot of fun. Nothing quite like playing in the snow, getting some good fresh air! We had very nice weather with a gorgeous backdrop of snow-covered trees & waterfalls flowing off cliffs in the distance. It was fantastic exercise and all I could think about is how many areas it touched upon that I’m working on With my PT, Anne. Balance, leg & ankle strengthening, cardio & endurance were all super! Here is a quick video of me trying to climb up a pretty decent small hill:
I was starting to get tired, so sat down for a break. We got up, pressed on for a bit farther to look for a place to relax & eat lunch. Though I was a bit stiff getting up, I figured I was ready to start heading back. I then noticed my left (affected) foot was up to its old tricks of too much pressure on the outside edge of it and it wanting to ‘roll-in’ and not bending my knee properly. It all really comes down to weakness in the ankle muscles & all the finer calf leg muscles and what PTs term as ‘Synergy patterns’. All this gets very much accentuated though when I get so physically tired, and by this point it all sure was catching up to me! It took us some time to get back down to the main trail, where I couldn’t wait to get the snowshoes off since I figured the snow was packed well enough and with thinking the shoes were actually causing sloppiness in my gait. By this time, the exhaustion was really setting in. Sitting & resting though only helped so much and pacing myself SLOW to get back to truck sounded like the best course of action to take. The trail back wasn’t even a mile, but it felt like ten, plus didn’t help that it was a slight decline. Declines still aren’t my friend, like ascends are. We had a couple nice people stop & ask if we needed assistance, but I knew I could get down with shear will & determination, so I pressed on with Jeanie’s help & moral support! I did make it down to the parking lot where Jeanie was great to walk & drive the truck over.
So, do I regret going? No way – it was super fun and great for our spirits to get out of the house to try to do ‘normal’ things we used to so often pre-stroke once again. It was fantastic what I term as ‘advanced therapy’ getting far more exercise than anything at home or at PT. My FitBit registered 4.68 mi, 54 flights of stairs, just shy of 10,000 steps, so didn’t need to go home to exercise more tonight! I am slowly grappling though with the fact I need to better gauge ahead of time when I get that tired to turn back earlier. My brain remembers the ‘old me’ and sometimes completely overlooks any such signs and that sheer will & determination can seem to get the best of me.