Sunday, February 12, 2012
I did it!
Today another milestone. I did my first hike since the first knee surgery last April. In fact, it was probably well before April when I last hiked. I was hurting so much that hikes were far from appealing at the time I first went under the knife.
I chose the Elfin Forest in Los Osos for my first foray. The walk is almost entirely boardwalk, with many benches, and is only 4/5 mile long. It is not flat but the ascent is not steep, as it is very near the bay. Next to it, in fact. The picture above shows how it got its name. It really looks magical inside the tree cover. A separate little boardwalk enters the forest in specific locations so we can look but not touch. You could walk the whole way on the boardwalk and not know the wonders inside. But there is much to enjoy outside of the forest itself, in the views of Morro Rock and several of the "Seven Sisters" - ancient volcanos that line up, marching from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo and actually into a part of San Luis Obispo.
But I digress. I went without a cane. I remember the last time I visited this little walk. It was well before my knee surgery. I grabbed at almost every chance to sit on one of the benches, to relieve the pain. This time I did not sit down once. I did not feel I had to. I did feel a bit of a strain toward the end but it seemed mostly because my body is not used to walking any more, not because of pain. My left knee did get a bit sensitive but it recovered all right. For a bit I thought I might need to ice my knees when I got home but I was fine by then, and am still fine now.
I could feel the pressure I was putting on my knees. It was a bit uncomfortable but not painful. I feel like I pushed them as far as they want to go right now, but I could go a bit farther next time out. I did not experience any hip pain.
This post does not reflect well how great I felt when I finished. Just yesterday I was making my way around Costco and finding it quite uncomfortable, both inside and out. I did not see how I could do a hike comfortably. Now I know that I can, and it's exhilarating.