Last August I took a vacation which required a great deal of walking.
The opportunity for me to join the man of the house at a convention came up just 2 or 3 weeks before the event, just 5 months after I’d used all the physical therapy my insurance company covers per year so that I could walk. I was keeping to my PT exercises and walking a half mile or so, 3 or 4 days a week. I was going to a convention where people would routinely walk up to 5 miles a day. It was also in the mountains — about 5000 ft above sea level, which is a much higher elevation than I’m acclimated to. Also with a much warmer climate. What to do?
I rented a mobility scooter for the week.
Did some of the people who saw me on the scooter assume I was riding because I was too lazy to walk? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But I don’t know for sure. I don’t read minds. I’d often “park” it (taking the key with me) and use my legs where convenient — parties, for example. In restaurants I’d ask if there was an out-of-the-way corner I could park the scooter. I left it in the hotel room when I went to the hotel gym to swim or lift weights.
What the scooter gave me was the ability to get to more events with no pain. I had a good time and didn’t re-injure myself. Let me tell you something else: whirring around on the scooter was fun. There, I admit it :)
Last week we made hotel reservations for November. Once again, this destination will involve lots of walking. But I have more time to plan, and am feeling more confident that I won’t re-injure my leg. This year’s destination is even at sea level. So now I’m putting together a training plan. I’m getting more focused on my weekday mile-or-so walks and planning some longer training walks on the weekends. I’m also continuing the weights and yoga.
Could I do the scooter thing again? Yes. But I’d rather avoid it. This is affected by:
- Cost: Last year the convention had enough people wanting to rent scooters that they arranged a group rate, which reduced the cost.
- Ability: I’m already stronger than I was last year.
- Fears: I’m feeling more confident that I can avoid re-injury. Partly because this year’s destination is a place I’ve been to before.
- Stubbornness: I’ve been to this year’s destination before and I handled the walking fine then. I was a little lighter then, about 360 lbs (and, OKAY, 11-12 years younger (like THAT matters)) but still, deathfat is deathfat, right? I was fine before.
So…we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m tracking my workouts and making plans.