When I first started hiking, the day after was dreaded. Sometimes the drive home was too. A hike would leave forgotten muscles irritated and joints frozen in place. I would wobble around for a day or two. Getting out of the car hurt like no other. I would hobble like an old lady with severe arthritis. I loved the hiking but dreaded the next day or two. It took a while for me to start seeing improvement on this , but slowly I was able to walk straighter and get out of bed the next morning without hurting and being hunched over.
Last year, I may have been a bit tender on the day after a longer hike, but for the most part, I felt good the next day. Driving home still tended to stiffen me up, but I did usually have a two hour drive too. The four day hike left me sore and swollen for several days. I expected this. I have never done anything like it.
This year, I forgot about the day after because I haven’t hiked that much. I drove home in relative comfort yesterday and got out of my car no problem. I was physically fatigued. I was able to get around well, though, and even went out. Today, I got out of bed like most other days. I didn’t want to get out of the warmth, but I moved fine. My feet weren’t even as painful as they have been after a day of teaching. As the day progressed, I noticed that my calves are a little tight and my bad knee is giving me some problems. But, I am doing great otherwise.
One thing that I have learned along the way is that if I exercise as soon as I can (any activity) after I get up, my muscles will loosen. This will take the soreness away. Today, I got up and worked in my garden then climbed stairs and cleaned my storage room. All the while, I was pain free and energized. For when I exercise, I feel like doing more.
Even though I am more out of shape than I was last year, my body knows what I am doing and is not irritated from it. This is greatly encouraging. I left my day pack and shoes in the car to help encourage me to hike this week. I think that I won’t have any problems getting out and doing it. I’m excited to continue hiking where ever I can fit it in. I am encouraged by the day after.