I haven’t done a blog post about my power walking in quite some time. This is because I haven’t been doing it.

In early January, I found the need to keep increasing my walking pace because my exercise heart rate was becoming slower. In my mind, this was an indication that I was becoming more fit, so I felt I needed to increase the intensity in order to keep getting the same benefits.

On January 4, I pushed as hard as I possibly could without actually running (I’m unable to run or jog because of an old vertebrae injury). I was able to get my exercise heart rate back up to the 120 bpm that it should be at for my age, weight, and fitness level.

Unfortunately, since that very afternoon, I’ve been experiencing pain in my right hip. Sometimes it burns, sometimes it’s sharp, and sometimes it’s just nagging in the background. At times, it hurts with certain movements and at other times, those same movements don’t hurt at all, but something different will aggravate it.

I’m guessing I’ve either stretched a tendon or pinched a nerve, because if it was a spontaneous fracture, I don’t think it would be behaving the way it is.

At any rate, to say I’m missing those very brisk walks is a massive understatement. Even though I’ve been keeping busy with other things, the fast-paced morning walks were setting my mood and energy level for my entire day.

Two days ago, I decided that I’d had enough, and just before sunrise I headed out. I did half of my usual distance and walked at a very slow pace for me. I stopped several times to photograph many of the flowers that are blooming in the Lower Rio Grande Valley springtime. I didn’t worry about heart rate or distance or trying to beat previous personal bests. I just walked – and my entire day was better for it.

Yesterday, my hip was a bit more cranky, but it’s better again this morning, so I’m going out again. I’m going to see if I can manage every other day until we get home.

I have an appointment to see my GP at home on May 2. I’ll request some tests and x-rays and we’ll go from there.

Photo Note: My feature photo is of a Yellow Elder. We have one in our back yard that isn’t as full and lovely as this one a few streets away. I’m going to cut ours back to see if that helps. The Yellow Elder is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and is the floral emblem of The Bahamas. In post processing, all I did was deepen the blue of the sky a bit, and add a bit of structure and contrast to the yellow flowers.

“No matter how slow you go you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”