So much for my commitment to cycle at least a short distance each day. Yesterday, towards evening, my gout and arthritis started to flare up. Cycling then became an impossibility as just shuffling around the house sent waves of agony radiating from my right big toe joint and left ankle. My back was sore too, as was my right elbow and thumb joint (hello RSI). I took some Cataflam and went to bed. Being immobile helped the pain but it took me a while to fall asleep. Although I wasn’t uncomfortably hot (the fan helps) it felt as if I had waves of heat radiating off my face. Thinking I might have a fever it crossed my mind to take my temperature but the thought of getting upright on my sore feet again to go to the bathroom for the thermometer put paid to that idea.
This morning I am still sore but thankfully not as bad as last night. I have somewhat blocked sinuses and a post nasal drip so I probably have some virus that is causing all this to flare up. I’ll do my usual of trying to ride it out but if the gout persists without getting much better I’ll go along to the doctor on Tuesday or Wednesday for a Voltaren shot; that always does the trick, giving rapid relief. In any case, it seems my cycling aspirations are on hold for at least a day or two.
Image from Wikipedia Commons, is a 1799 cartoon depicting gout.
If you’ve been following this infrequently updated blog for more than a few years, you’ll know that I have a serious weight problem. You may remember a time when I followed a weight loss, or lifestyle modification plan; losing 30kg before falling back into old habits. I have been steadily packing on the kilos since then and am not quite sure what I weigh now as I passed the 150kg limit of our scale some months back; my guess is I’m somewhere around 170kg now. I get very little exercise and am extremely unfit. A walk to Pick n Pay at lunch time invariably ends with me out of breath from the slight uphill slope on the way back. I almost always enter the building through the basement parking entrance and use the lift rather than continuing up the slope and climbing the single flight of stairs.
I’ve been well aware that I need to stop this cycle of weight gain and diminishing health but as one does I’ve always put it off for another day. Today is that day. Sitting in the waiting room this morning while Mela had an ultrasound, I picked up a cycling magazine and found an article about Scott Cutshall. Scott is an American that was in even worse shape than I am when he turned his life around. He weighed 238kg at his heaviest and doctors had given him just six months to live without having bariatric surgery; even that was no guarantee as he had just a 50-50 chance of surviving the surgery. Sitting at his window one day he spied a man swooping through traffic on a bicycle and was inspired to begin cycling. After some trouble finding a custom cycle builder that would take him seriously he had his new cycle, one that could support his bulk, and started cycling daily. As you can imagine this was no easy feat but he persevered and aided by a meal plan of his own design, the weight started to fall of. Today he weighs just 78kg and continues to cycle many miles per day.
Reading this article was a tremendous inspiration to me and I told myself that I will follow his example and begin cycling every day. This evening I began, dusting off the bike that I haven’t touched in at least three years and getting out for a short ride around the neighbourhood. I only rode 2.74km today but it’s a start. As I increase my fitness I’ll increase my distance too. We are already makign a point of modifying what we eat so that will help too. If Scott could do it, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to do it too.
While on the way to and from dropping my son off at work I snapped these photos of the aftermath of a truck crash. The way the Armco barrier has entered the cab right where the driver would be doesn’t bode well for him, but I have no information other than what can be seen in the photos.
As I was walking back to work after buying lunch the other day I spotted some interesting clouds over the mountains behind our office building. When I got back to my desk I dropped my lunch, grabbed my compact camera, went out on the balcony and grabbed a few photos.
I picked one to process this morning and wasn’t that happy with the resulting colour image so I decided to process it as black and white, coming up with the image above.