You Can't Pick Your Genes

Every now and then I'm reminded about the real reason I train and race. Sure it's fun and I love to go fast, but it really comes down to health.

Back in November, my mom had a couple nasty falls that she blamed on her "good" knee. Unfortunately, my mom is one of many people who pay for their own insurance and she didn't want to go to the doctor because she was afraid of the cost. She finally went in on Friday to see a specialist (yes, that is 8 months after she fell) and she had surgery today.

Everything went well but she has arthritis in her knee and she had torn her meniscus in three places. She's on crutches for a few days and then starts rehab. I keep trying to gently nudge her in the direction of exercise (in the form of walking) and making small changes in her diet to lose weight, given her knee issues.

I should explain that I am not blessed with good genes. Most of the women in my family tip the scale over 250 pounds. At my heaviest I was about 165, and it wasn't pretty. My mom has the family record for age at first knee surgery; she was 30. Type 1 diabetes is in the family and several family members have been diagnosed with Type 2. So exercising and being conscious of what I eat is important. Between my mom's surgery and watching the Tour, I've been highly motivated to ride my bikes. I've seen the alternative, and it usually ends up in the hospital.


pigtailultrarunner said...

I hope your mom recovers quick and takes this as a wake up call. My mom is really bad about exercise too, and is quite overweight and it worries me to no end. She swore after her knee replacement surgery a few years ago that she would start walking.... and she did for awhile but just can't seem to keep at it. Parents!

Christi said...

I have been doing some great rides lately. I wish you lived close by so we could ride together!