The Path Untraveled, the Destination Unknown (part 1)

So how did we get here?

We all get a little out of shape over time. Right? Ok, maybe some of us that became desk jockeys do more so than others. But I assumed that’s all it was. I mean, I had just recently turned 40… ok, ok, I hear you calling BS, so maybe I was a bit older than that, but it’s not like I was a nonagenarian. Still, I could feel my body changing (note: Listen to your body. NO ONE knows it like you do). I could tell something was a little out of whack. I couldn’t define exactly what it was, so I did what any smart guy, who was determined to get back in shape, would do… I bought a jump rope. Seriously, I kid you knot (get it, knot, rope… work with me here). 🙂

Anyway, yes, my legs felt like they had lost some bounce and I figured some jump roping would be a quick, easy way to regain some of my early 20’s form… all while still not being too far from the cooler on the back deck.

Unfortunately, the jump rope really didn’t help. Part of the problem might have been that I immediately lost it in the garage and never actually used it. But more importantly, I started to have some much larger issues.

Cramps. Bad. Not like those irritating little Charlie Horses. No. More like the jump straight up vertical out of bed in the middle of the night several nights a week kinda cramps. And painful? Woo wee. To the extent that I did something I rarely do… I actually went to the Doctor.

Now this was February 2020. Pre pandemic. I hadn’t been to a Dr. in about ten years. In fact, I didn’t even have a Primary Doctor, and had to pick some rando from the website. He seemed like a good dude. He told me to add more zinc and magnesium to my day, stretch and exercise a bit more, and then he sent me on my way.

Perfect. I love me an easy solution. Except it wasn’t.

The cramps got more frequent, and more painful. But even worse, the leg weakness was expanding as well – and I couldn’t find that damn jump rope. As we slid into Summer, I really started to notice the weakness. One camping trip I struggled to pull myself out of a kayak after a long paddle on the lake. Yes, this was during my Flu ‘do stage, so maybe I was weighted down by the extra hair I was sporting. Regardless, the kids got a great chuckle out of it, but now the whole thing was starting to piss me off. I even, briefly, thought about going for a run, but I sat down at the campfire with a beer until that thought went away. 🙂

Strangely, as Fall waned and Winter arrived, things seemed to settle down, it even felt relatively sane. The issues had seemed to stabilize… I was still out of shape, still with an above average number of cramps, but all things considered, it seemed like things had at least plateaued. I thought maybe the combination of zinc, magnesium, and the pure fear from the thought of running had made a difference.

Sadly, it was simply the calm before the storm.

As usual, time flew by during the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas were awesome as always, and as we ended 2020, as we grasped at the hope of what 2021 had in store, I found myself daring to think… “New Year, New You!” — Right?

New You… Tragically, I couldn’t have been more right.

If you haven’t read any of the other Backstory posts, the remaining posts from this series can be found here:
The Path Untraveled, the Destination Unknown Part 2
The Path Untraveled, the Destination Unknown Part 3
The Path Untraveled, the Destination Unknown Part 4

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