Looking Down

Finally on the bike again this week after a 6 and a half week hiatus. Interesting how much mental processing goes on during a bike ride. I’ve replayed my crash as well as many thoughts about my injury and recovery. I also battle with the fact that I should not be riding yet, or to put it in clearer terms, shouldn’t be risking another fall. Technically, I am not recovered to a level that would permit me to train at full effort or full speed, but in my case I feel like I am risking more by not riding at all.

Turkey, nom, stuffing, gravy, nom, nom, taters, pie, yes more please, nom, nom! The pre-winter starch crave-o-meter reads RED. Oh yeah and how about the left-over Halloween candy that preceded this little smorgasbord. I haven’t stepped on a scale for fear of facing reality but I can already see it happening. The belt is a notch or 2 further than it was and even simple stretches are more of a challenge. When I ride I feel like I am wearing a hoodie with 2 Cornish game hens stuffed in my front pocket as they bounce against my quads with every stroke. I am sure the coming holiday will only turn those hens into full-sized chickens unless I begin to battle the gluttonous demon that resides about halfway between my lips and my love handles.

For some reason, getting used to 3 weeks of post-crash pain made the following 3 weeks easier to sit while I recovered. Reluctantly, I had decided that I would use the time to allow my body to have all the rest it seemed to be craving, and since I basically have a simple on or off switch it was easy to turn the burner completely off. Sure I took some occasional walks but the idea of getting on and expending any effort that resembled actual training seemed an exercise in futility. Especially since I had missed pretty much the entire cyclocross season.

When we ride we sometimes encounter “the man with the hammer”. But right now, I am fearing something much different than his heavy-handed pounding.  It pales in comparison to those demons that have begun to frolic about my idle self. While my body begins to soften, my mind has begun to harden, and turn to a darker shade of gray matter. Negativity has begun to take root and the dark gloom of oncoming winter is only partly disguised by spruce-scented prefab holiday cheer and multi-colored baubles. That is why although I should wait a few more weeks to be on the safe side, I felt the need to begin to turn the pedals once again.

My fat bike will be the beast I am going to spend a lot of dark nights with during the next few months. The pedals are turning slower, and I am riding familiar and safer paths.  I am doing everything I can to minimize any chance of crashing. But while I know any time spent on the bike has its share of risk, the risk for me lies in spending any more time away from it. Onward.

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