Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pain and discomfort is a Powerful de-motivator

I have been demotivated for certain.  If I were not such a fanatic about cycling, it would be easier to leave the bike parked.

The last time that I met with my doctor on my leg he talked about non-specific ligament and tendon damage and how it will take time to heal.  His recommendation was to avoid re-injuring myself, but gave me the okay to try running on a treadmill and to ride a stationary trainer.

I tried riding my rollers in the basement.  Anyone who says that they enjoy any type of stationary trainer, rollers, or indoor cardio equipment is a twisted individual.  Short of tolerance for some weight-lifting or strength training, I am the type of person that must get outside.  Not strong enough mentally to overcome my hatred for indoor exercise, I find too things to keep myself occupied and avoid the rollers.

Mentally, I’ve grown so tired of my comparative lack of physical activity.  I miss the physical exhilaration, the mental clarity, and emotional sense of accomplishment that comes in the form of a run or a ride.  I miss being outside, I miss riding my bicycle.  I’m an endorphin junky needing a fix.

Our recent January thaw has taken care of most (if not all) snow and ice on the roads.  With clean and dry roads and milder temperatures; the draw to be outside is too strong to resist.

There's just something special about Fridays. Like climbing the last hill on a ride, you just KNOW that as soon as you put in your hard earned effort, you get coast for a while with two days to recover.

Working late on the 'puter Thursday night, I suffered a case of weather-mania.  Listening, hearing the words, but not truly paying ANY attention to the forecast for Friday.  So, I asked my lovely wife who was already in bed watching the news.  She must have been in a similar boat as me, but responded with an almost convincing "I think it's supposed to be a lot like today."

The mind went into gear and as soon as the alarm went off at 5am, my "plan" was put into motion.  I grabbed what I could find in the dark, stuffed my TimBuk 2 bag and I was out the door on my way to work... On the Bike! Ohhhh, yeah...

Experience proves valuable for riding on the roads. One learns to ride with reflexes much like a cat.  I have two pet cats, each of them with twitch-like reflexes to sense dangers. Tuned into the sounds and feelings of the environment, I feel like I’ve developed almost a sixth sense for cycling-related risks.  I think in the automotive driving world; they call this “Defensive Driving.”

Continuing the “cat” analogy; I now feel much like a rescue cat.  Nervous about every car I see, paranoid that I am invisible, convinced I’m going to get run down.  It’s difficult to feel comfortable or relaxed.

I made the ride to work and back on Friday.  I felt weak on the bike due to lack of conditioning, but positively euphoric in the sense of accomplishment.   I paid the price on Saturday and Sunday with an extremely sore neck, back, and ankle.

Being the glutton for punishment that I can sometimes be, I jumped on the bike again this morning.  I have more physical therapy on Tuesday and Thursday this week, I hope to try to ride on Wednesday and Friday.  I don’t know what my chances for actually being able to do that, but it’s good to have a goal.

While I may not feel okay physically, it is at least good to have the mental satisfaction of having done something… Even if I have to pour mental energy into overcoming the fear and anxiety of riding or the frustration with my body not feeling the way it used to.  Hopefully, I will be on the road to recovery and can get myself back into some sort of shape for riding again.

5 comments:

-d said...

ride on brother. Good on you.

Dee said...

I am beaming positive energy to you. Welcome back.

Doug said...

I'm on week 14 of my broken arm recovery. I know first hand some of the stuff you're going through. Although my injuries were not as severe and widespread as yours. Right now I go mad if I try to ride an indoor trainer more than three days in a row. Here's hoping we're both healed and back out on our bikes soon!

Snak Shak said...

Hey - I am very glad to see you back on the bike and posting again! Good luck with your recovery and if you need a riding partner, just let me know!

Sean said...

RIDE ON Ken, your journey inspires all of us. Keep the rubber side down (as long as you can). -S

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