I went out and spun-up 39.3 miles averaging 15.3mph and figured "not too bad" considering we've got a pretty stiff SSW wind blowing today. I got back and drank a bottle of water and rested for 30 minutes figuring I'd start my yoga adventure and then shower. Well, I've never attempted yoga but I have always heard that it is a great, low-intensity way of building core strength and flexibility. I went by the library last Saturday and picked up a copy of Lilia's Yoga for Beginners on DVD and figured, "yup, that's me... a beginner" (to quote my good friend Dao).
I figured the best place for me to attempt this maneuver would be the bedroom as there is plenty of floor space, it's cool and quiet and I can close the door to the dogs and kids and other interruptions. That part of the plan came off without a hitch. I propped up the laptop and popped in the DVD and Lilia and I began to get to know each other a little better. It wasn't too long though before I was cussin' 'ole Lilia... and me and my back and my legs and the Coriolis effect and the Moon's geosynchronous orbit and the construction practices of sub-prime contractors!
The warm up went pretty smooth with a little breathing and some flailing about of the arms and shoulders. I was thinking, "hmm, this is a snap." Well, then we attempted what Lilia called the "plank position," which should have been a clue since you make planks out of what else but HARD wood, duh! I have this problem that crops up on occasion when I attempt to stretch a muscle while simultaneously exerting force. What happens is pretty spectacular for any observers that happen to be in the area. My muscles cramp with such force that my entire body contorts and is accompanied by grotesque facial expressions and some very colorful language. I've even been known to make up entirely new words and even entire phrases when this happens.
See, when I broke those 3 vertebrae they didn't just crack and lickity-split fuse back together. They actually exploded as the force caused compression fractures resulting in the vertebrae ending up in many little pieces with, what seems to be the majority of them coming to rest in my spinal cord. Spinal intrusions they called them and it took the surgeons several hours of an 16-hour surgery to pick them out of their resting places without doing additional damage to my spinal cord. The vertebrae were then fused/grafted back together with strips of bone taken from my hip. The vertebrae have healed but along all those little fissures where the cracks were there are now little deposits of calcium material that forms like a little stalactite. I believe they called them "bone spurs" and whenever I exert force enough to cause them to come in contact with my spinal cord... yeah, ouch! I get these really bad shooting pains and my muscles tighten, twitch, feel like they are either on fire, being electrocuted or having warm water poured over them (that's the least painful one but often leads me to think I've just pissed myself) and sometimes cramp.
So, when I stretched out my legs and then lifted my hips... BAM! My legs locked up like a Seargent at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. I thought I was going to cry. I immediately fell back to the floor but couldn't move to get my legs to relax enough for the cramp to stop. Usually when they are this bad I have to have TC rub the cramps out for me but she was gone. So, I just lay there cussin' 'ole Lilia until they calmed down all by themselves. After a little rest I figured I'd finish up with a little less intensity... remember "I'm a beginner." Well, every time I attempted one of the postures involving my legs they would begin to cramp and I would back off. At this rate it will take me approximately 944 years to attain any level of yoga ability.
Perhaps, I should ride then carry on the rest of my day and perform yoga or resistance training in the evening after my muscles have had time to relax and the swelling to go down a bit. I have increased my water intake and while riding I use an electrolyte tablet in each water bottle. I'll try doing the yoga in the evening tomorrow and see how that works. I'll just do what I can and hopefully over the next few weeks I'll start seeing some results.