Mini version:
Physical therapy good.

Short version:
I got in to see a physical therapist last week and, in return for some bruising on my low back and upper buttocks areas, I got sweet relief from the sticky, sour, stiff pain that had been plaguing me when I tried to perform normal range of motion activities like tying my shoes.

Long version:
I feel I must at this point recommend Therapeutic Associates for any issues that one comes across that limits physical mobility. I have had an excellent experience there so far and I am confident that I’m not going to start my backpacking trip and stop halfway through unable to walk farther because of back pain. I am still nervous about the trip because I’ve never done anything like 20 mile days back to back to back to back to back before, but whether I can or cannot complete my goal will not be contingent on the back pain I’d been having.

I got back to training last weekend with some sessions on an inclined treadmill with boots and a 25 pound-ish pack. I put 20 pounds of sandbags plus some gear and a pillow to fill it out a bit. I got all my meals packed and inflated my sleeping pad, which is new for this trip. Last year I used Ambrose’s sleeping pad because the ultra light one that I purchased just wasn’t that warm. The new one that I got is still very light, but also a bit wider in the shoulder area which I’ve now learned I find more comfortable.

This week I will continue to weigh out my gear and analyze what it is I want to take with me on the trip. What do I really need? How much am I willing to carry? The trip itself isn’t that far away and I’m nervous. But also excited. And nervous. It will probably be fairly cold, which means more clothing. It may or may not be wet enough for intermittent streams to flow, but I’ll carry water anyway because it’s better to take the extra weight and not need it than need water and not have it.

I’ve got two more appointments with the physical therapist before the trip, and I can feel how my body is responding to the treatment. I’m icing and stretching and doing exercises every day. It’s going to happen. 100 miles, baby!

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