December 30 of 31 December-ish posts
For the last couple of days, following a week of bitterly cold temperatures, I took advantage of the milder winter weather and went skiing in the park.
Nordic skiing or cross country skiing, or whatever you happen to call the skiing that doesn’t involve hills is a perfect sport for our local park. In the summer it’s a suburban field with a perimeter ring of asphalt roughly one kilometer in length. In the winter it’s a snowy wasteland waiting to be trampled and played in by local kids.
I like to help cut ski trails for neighbourhood skiing enthusiasts.
Some rough math will tell you that a one kilometer oblong ring makes the diameter of the whole field about 320m. More likely it’s about 400m on the long side and 250 at the lateral cut. No matter how you slice it, this is long enough for some good straightaways, even cutting across the various paths people have already tramped through the otherwise pristine snowfall.
In the last couple days I’ve spent a good couple hours doing laps through that fresh snow, following a meandering track that I cut and smoothing it out so that other locals (and also future me) could enjoy them.
It’s been a refreshing change.
I haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked outside in 2022.
One word that sums up your theme for 2022.
Ok. So, it’s not a real word. I made it up.
But it is what I’ve been calling my now-six-month effort to restore mobility and health in my right knee after a mysterious injury left me with a micro-tear in my MCL, medial collateral ligament, an important bit of tender tissue that helps you balance and move and otherwise enjoy things like walking.
I haven’t run, not outside of physiotherapy at least, since July.
This is not a good thing.
I’ve been in knee-hab: stretching, strengthening, hurting, moving, healing, limping, and hopefully recovering. It’s been a very long six months.
For anyone who runs you know the frustration of not running. It’s physical. It’s outdoors. It’s a stress valve. It’s a social event. It’s a lifestyle. It balances your mind, body, soul, and beyond. It works your lungs, beats your heart and jiggles your bowels and generally makes you feel better after it’s over. It becomes who you are, even if you’re not fast.
I miss it.
Not running has descended a cloud over everything else and I would venture to suggest it has left me with a touch of depression that has been a one-hundred-percent effort to attempt to overcome this past six months.
Knee-hab seems like a silly theme, but it was my life for the latter half of the year. And as I sit here in the scraps of the year-that-was, flexing my leg at my desk knee still stiff after sleeping, it’s hard not to assume that it will define the first bit of 2023, too.
The last couple days I spent skiing in the park were brilliant for my therapy, physical and mental. My knee felt fabulous after nearly an hour of work cutting and riding the trails I’d cut. My brain felt lighter. My heart, even in the cold winter air, felt warmer.
I’ll be back out there again today, when the sun climbs up a bit higher.
And hopefully the theme of my crumby knee will start to wrap up with some grace and promise for the New Year, even as some new opportunities to be outside (and write about it more in 2023) emerge!
Now, check out the video I made…