I just had something clarified yesterday. Walking good, steep hiking bad! Just when I thought my walking program was helping me to get in shape, I had an experience which humbled me quite a bit. My wife and I went fishing yesterday, but couldn't find a private spot, so we decided to go hiking instead. We wanted to take advantage of her day off from work and the weather was gorgeous, mid 60's with lots of sunshine.
We found a trail that had the right distance (2 miles) but was a little steep (20%), er make that a lot steep. We got about 12 minutes into the hike and I was huffing and puffing, my heartrate was somewhere around 120. Meanwhile my wife, who works out all the time, is yawning as we walk up the steep trail. What a contrast. I finally had to tell her, with wounded pride, that I couldn't go up any more and that it was time to turn back.
There were two reasons I needed to turn around. The first was my pitiful physical shape. That is directly related to the pain I've had related to my reversal. I haven't been able to be very (aerobically) active because of my previously described nerve pain. My aerobic threshold is still pretty low, despite the increased activity recently. I can tell I have a long way yet to go. Lord willing, I'll be able to get to the point where I can tolerate these kind of hikes in the future.
The second reason I was struggling on the hike was due to the groin pain I was experiencing with every climbing step. I remember when I started an exercise program in June with my kids, that squats seemed to cause me a lot of nerve pain. Well, picture this climb so steep that every step was like a semi squat. It felt great to use my leg muscles, but my groin was not enjoying itself.
I'm just glad I didn't let my pride get the best of me. I probably could have pushed through and then I'm sure I would have been in tremendous pain today. If this hike had occurred last year, then I know I would have let my pride hang me out to dry. So I think I'm make progress with my pride, thanks to God. He has really been showing me that pride is at the root of so many bad decisions.
So as it turns out, I had just a little left inguinal nerve pain last night when I laid on my left side. Then today, when I sat down, my left inguinal area experienced some more nerve pain. So lesson learned. I'm going to stick to flat surface walking/hiking for the time being. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to get my heart in shape, and by then, perhaps, my inguinal area will be less sensitive to such experiences.