Brisk morning air hit me full in the face as I walked down the driveway this morning, resuming a too-long-ago abandoned practice of morning walks. Frost-covered grass crunched under my feet as I headed across the lower lawn towards Sandy Flats Road.

My left knee, wrapped and braced for morning event, popped as it bent, still recovering from a sprained ligament and bone bruise from a fall more than two months ago during the December ice storm. Foolishly, I allowed that injury to turn me into a semi-invalid, taking stairs a half-step at a time and giving up more often on activity when it started to ache.

No more. Mind over body. Too little activity combined with too many calories had ballooned my weight and left my body too weak for even the simplest of household chores. An attempt at yard work on this past warm Saturday left me grasping for breath. Not good.

So I limbered up for 30 minutes on an exercise bike, then bundled up to venture out into 16-degree weather for another 30 minutes of walking. The cold air rejuvenated me as I headed south up the hill on Sandy Flats. I reached the top winded but determined to push on, heading east on Harvestwood to its intersection with Christiansburg Pike.

A brief rest at the church and then a return trip, picking up the pace as I forged along the frozen ruts of Harvestwood. Some 45 minutes had passed when I reached the foot of our driveway out of breath and started up the 450-foot, 35-degree anglem knowing this final stretch would be the hardest. By the top, I gasped for breath, inhaling lungfulls of frozen air.

In the kitchen, I gulped down two bottles of water and headed for the shower, exhausted.

Day one. Let the comeback begin.