A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more

A Feeling of Fear.


Last weekend I twisted my knee and had to end a ride early. By the next day the swelling was gone and in a couple of days the pain was gone as well. I was doing deep knee bends without any discomfort. I figured I had every reason to believe that the issue with the knee was no issue at all. With all this in mind I planned a nice 35 mile ride for today. The bike is back from the shop, the shifters replaced. The bike was all ready to go and so was I. OR so I thought.

Eight miles in to the ride this morning I was thinking that the knee was a non-issue. I felt no pain at all. I was riding very well, averaging just over 18 mile per hour for that first 8-mile stretch. Then, just as I allowed myself to think that the knee was fine, I felt it. First a twinge and then a sharp pain and suddenly the knee felt exactly the way it did as I rode the last few miles of last weekend’s ride.

My Bagel stop on the ride. Good Bagels and a nice little table outside to enjoy the warmth

At ten miles I took a break, had a cup of coffee and a bagel at a local shop and relaxed and tried to not think about the knee. It felt a little better and I started to ride again. And the pain came back again. I decided it would be smart to cut the ride short and I passed on the two hills that I was looking forward to climbing and headed back towards home. I was still riding well, averaging about 15 on the last ten miles of the ride but the hill to home was a bear.

I thought maybe I needed to make a couple of adjustments on the bike. I removed the pedal extension and adjusted the cleat on the right shoe (the right knee is the one hurting) and took a test ride. BIG MISTAKE. Missus had to come fetch me when the pain became too much for me to pedal.

So now it is time to see the Doctor. I have to acknowledge that this is more than a mere twisted knee, or at the very least, it MAY be more than a twisted knee.

SO what do I do now? How do I keep the fitness up when stair climbing and bike riding are not on the agenda?

I will know more of course after I get in to see the doctor. I have to be aggressive about this because the activity is a critical part of the plan for reaching my goals.

Few years back I had Patella Tendinitis in both knees. It caused me to stop riding and on occasion I needed a cane to walk. That lack of activity was a part of why I gained weight and formed the bad habits that lead to obesity. Stairs were a major challenge. Over time that cleared up.

What I am feeling now does not feel like the sort of thing that clears up……

SO I am feeling fear right now. I am afraid of what the potential inactivity will do to my plans. I am fearful of the prospect of not being able to ride or hike. I am afraid that I will miss out on my plans for this year: the ride in Boston, the rides I want to do around here, the century ride I planned on doing in the autumn, making my goal weight by the end of July.

This is a really hard thing for me to face right now. I am able to walk OK, not much discomfort. I will see if I can walk a couple of miles tomorrow without pain…

I need time to absorb all this and I am not sure what I am absorbing yet.

Trying to take a positive out of what right now feels very negative: I was riding very well just before the knee started back in with me. I was also riding on a hot day and was able to deal well with the heat. All this is a testament to how much my fitness has improved.

Have to find the positives…

Here is a positive: 38 inch waist pants are loose on me and it looks like I am drifting closer and closer to a 36. I am at 221 pounds now. SO CLOSE to the two-teens…

There was big, delicious Pizzeria Uno pepperoni pizza on my kitchen island tonight and I had absolutely no desire to have it.

I made salmon on cedar plank for dinner tonight. It was so good. Fresh pineapple for late snack. Very good. A guilty pleasure that I don’t have to feel too guilty about.

Trying hard to find positives tonight.


7 thoughts on “A Feeling of Fear.

  1. Two word for you: Bikrum Yoga.

  2. Mark, How very cool that you included the photo of the old sweet shop, now “Hot Bagels,” in your blog. It brings a bit of a tear to my eye. For the summer of 1967, having just graduated eighth grade and I had my “first date” in that dear old sweet shop. I got to have ice cream sodas with a girl from my class, Pamela, who had long brown hair and brown eyes. There I was sitting at the counter with this cute girl. I was a skinny kid wearing glasses. I remember inside I shook like a leaf and thought to myself, “I must be dreaming.”
    O’ the quiet of the night, calls me back to that moment in time. A time of innocence, before microwave ovens, before cell phones, before worrying about getting drafted, before the Vietnam War, and before Nixon lied to us all on TV. Oh, to be 13, for just a half-hour and to have that ice cream soda with dear sweet Pamela. THANK YOU Mark, for sharing this photo with your readers. With a nostalgic heart, your friend, Richard

  3. Mark a few years ago Richard was bending down to change something on the DVR. he went one way his leg went the other. A few days after that he had a pancreatic attack and he forgot about the knee. he was in the hospital for a week. Once home and out of pain from the pancreatitis he discovered his knee was still in pain. He had torn his (and I can’t spell it correctly) his meniscus and it required surgery. That is why I was after you to have it checked out last week. He was off work for 7 months with the knee I hope this isn’t the case with you!

  4. Hi Mark, After reading your blog. You truly have ” come a long way baby”. I hope no matter the result of your doctor’s visit that you have a resolution to your knee pain. Perhaps, going slow and building up the strength and not taxing your knees, with many hill climbs, may help in your recovery in my opinion. I am sure your family is very proud of you and if I am not mistaken. Is the bagel shop street where the “Sopranos” was shot. Correct me if I am wrong. Be well and to a speedy recovery so you can “Ride like the wind”, once again.

  5. So sorry to hear about your knee! I’m sure you’ll find alternative forms of exercising. I’ve known of friends who have maintained their mega weight loss with no exercise, also with using a hoola hoop and dancing while sitting in a chair. You are getting practice connecting with your body rather than the weight loss goals? I’m eager to read about what your detour journey will be. We are all pulling for you.

  6. Sorry about your knee. Hope the doctor has good news.

    Would swimming be an option for you if the knee is injured? You could always use a pull buoy if you want to make sure that you don’t over-exert the knee while swimming. If you don’t do freestyle but only swim breast stroke (i.e. something that will hurt the knee), you could always try doing breast stroke arms with freestyle legs. Trust me – it works – I couldn’t do breast stroke legs for years due to ITB syndrome so taught myself to do freestyle kick instead. All you do is take it slowly and start using a pull buoy to teach your body not to automatically associate the frog-leg kick with breast stroke. Then you slowly incorporate freestyle kick a few laps at a time.

  7. read this and your later blog: hang in there. the knee will heal in time. it’s so frustrating (as with running) when your body lets you down, but stay strong in your mind!

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