Last week I received a simple little piece of mail that would singularly readjust my focus, efforts, drive, and perspective every time I get on my bike. It was my American Bicycle Racing license. I opened it and chuckled to myself that I paid $25 for the privilege of sacrifice, self-inflicted pain and countless smack downs at the hand (or should I say the legs) of the fitter and the faster. Funny thing how this license, wheel tag and a set of stickers might be the most meaningful pieces of paper I would receive all year.
My rides have an added sense of purpose and even more importantly I find myself in the fortunate situation to be in the midst of a comeback. Not a comeback from past glory that has escaped me. No glory has ever come to me from the bike. My comeback is from a recent spine surgery. A surgery and condition that forced me to miss a years worth of team rides and races. My condition made me wonder if I might ever get back to the normal motor function that I took for granted. I now count myself blessed and very lucky for not only am I on a road to recovery, I am back to riding the bike and little by little I find myself feeling better, gaining strength and stamina.
A year ago almost to the day I began to lose strength and function in my arm, hands and legs and feared if I could ever get back to normal. Now, I am indebted to some amazing doctors and staff, supportive family, friends and team.
Tomorrow, I will use my license to enter an indoor time trial. It is a small local event. Few are watching and fewer really care. I know I am not fully prepared, I know I will place far from where I would like, and I know I still have a long way to recover and to be able to race in any way that resembles real speed. But I know I will race. And that is all I care about.
Tomorrow I will dedicate every turn of the cranks to those who have allowed me to get back to the bike and do this again, as I embrace my new motto for the year. Just get on with it.
Tomorrow I will dedicate every turn of the crank to those who have allowed me to get back to the bike and do this again as I embrace my new motto for the year. Just get on with it.