If there’s a word I hate, it’s tepid. Nothing but a negative connotation, I always have a mental image of a cat gingerly dipping it’s paw in water, shaking it off and walking away.

From dictionary.com:

1. moderately warm; lukewarm:
tepid water.
2. characterized by a lack of force or enthusiasm:
tepid prose; the critics’ tepid reception for the new play.

For my purposes, let’s go with a lack of force or enthusiasm. In describing the last month, tepid really covers all the bases. 2017 was to be a year where I began making several personal changes aimed at thinking differently, writing, reading, playing music more, and the like. It’s only nearing the end of February, so the year is nowhere near a write-off, but the past month was a beast, capping a pretty awful winter season, overall.

I already documented the bug I caught at Christmas in its early days, but what that post doesn’t describe is the two-plus week plague that finally went away a week into January. As I recovered, I got the year rolling with some solid running and cycling base work, and felt like I was off to a pretty good start. Yeah, well, the best laid plans and all that, right?

Tepid Sinuses

While the nasty cold ended up leaving eventually, a minor sinus infection lingered so I still spent the month of January … kinda gunky. I’ve got bad sinuses anyway, and have been down this road a few times. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time with saline rinses, treating my olfactory with kid gloves and looking for any kind of relief I could find. As the cold went away, the sinuses subsided somewhat, but not completely throughout January.

Tepid Shoulder

After a month of decent easy running and trainer riding, as February rolled around I was having a lovely jaunt through fresh fallen snow just over three weeks ago. Hidden black ice hidden isn’t good for much, but apparently it’s excellent for dislocating a shoulder.

Tepid Immune System

Damned if I didn’t pick up an additional gift in the hospital when getting my shoulder put back in place. It wasn’t much of a cold, but it triggered my sinus infection so much that by the weekend after the dislocation, I finally gave in and went to the doctor for some antibiotics. With my shoulder keeping me out of action, for a few days my forehead and cheek pain was excruciating. Well into my second month of sinus infection, I knew it wasn’t going away on its own.

Tepid Everything Else

With my arm in a sling for a few days, and with weakness and limited mobility in the joint lingering still, pretty much everything else in my life has also been tepid. For a couple weeks post-dislocation, lingering ice and the risk of re-injuring my shoulder had me totally sidelined. I missed a week of work, three weeks of anything resembling normal cycling or running and really haven’t been able to do much involving my upper body.

Needless to say, some of the other things I’ve been trying to change or improve upon (particularly writing) have also taken a hit.

As of this writing, with a few physio sessions under my belt, I’d say the shoulder is around 75%. I’ve been running carefully and easy, and riding the trainer for a week now. I wouldn’t trust the shoulder road riding just yet, though. Work or extended arm use of any kind is still a bit fatiguing at times, but I’m doing some level of just about everything now.

I’d say the only things that benefited from this February adventure were my reading and meditation, which I’m happy to say are now pretty much daily occurrences. I guess those are small victories, but they take nothing away from a month that I’d prefer to avoid repeating.