22 February 2010

The difference climate makes

Since returning to the midwest after my Hawaiian retreat on Oahu, I have noticed - as expected - my joints feeling worse than when I was away.

The curious thing is that whenever I leave for Hawaii I know that my joints will feel infinitely better than they do in the midwest, but that I do not so much notice it in Hawaii. I simply get up and go whenever I desire and for as long as I wish. I do not think I so much take it for granted as much as I want to savor every moment of it.

This evening, despite the tiredness of my body, I decided to go for a swim and get a bit of exercise. It seemed a good idea, especially as I feel another front moving in and will be away most of tomorrow and Wednesday for a gathering of the priests of the Diocese.

After the completion of lap two I could feel - and hear - my knees creaking. This isn't entirely uncommon with my knees; it happened quite a lot in the early days of my arthritis, though it hasn't happened too often in recent memory (or at least I haven't noticed it; somethings you just get used to and don't notice until someone points it out too long, like loud toys when you work in a toy store).

At any rate, I decided to keep swimming because I need the exercise. Halfway through lap three my knee let me know it had worked enough and would finish the lap, but not much more.

In the midwest I find myself in a great catch 22, as it were. I need to exercise to strengthen my joints and keep them strong, but they lack the strength - at least in the winter - to exercise. What's an arthritic to do? It's rather frustrating, really, so I hope you don't mind my quiet venting.

Much of the day today - when I was not pondering the moving of the offices into our school building - I was recalling my time in Hawaii a week ago yesterday and today.

A week ago yesterday I drove as far west as I could and parked my car. I then hiked several miles to Kaena Point, the farthest western point of Oahu and watched the Hawaiian monk seals and saw a young albatross. I was a beautiful afternoon spent walking on a rocky, dirt road will lots of divets and holes, or walking on the sand or rocky coast. Sunday I must have walked a good eight miles, not just there but all around. Without any difficulty or second thoughts.

A week ago today was the Great Aloha Run, an 8.15 mile walk that I did from the Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu to the Aloha Stadium. By the end of Monday I must have walked at least 11 miles. Without any difficulty or second thoughts.

Today I'd be hard pressed to walk one mile. Oh, the difference climate makes.

I was able to get some good things accomplished today. And before I go to bed early tonight I'll spend some time with a good book.


  1. Perhaps the new Bishop will allow you to be reassigned to Hawaii.

    It may be justified on health reasons?

  2. You're in our prayers. I cannot imagine. As I told you when we spoke, my ears have always been a problem for me. I avoid a lot of social events due to my fear of not hearing things right. My ears aren't bad enough for hearing aids, but I think it is time I pursue getting them (even if the audiologist tells me they'll likely be too loud and have to adjust them constantly). Hawaii does have an awesome climate! I am hoping we can stay another tour (which would add three years to our commitment through 2012 at the moment).