New year’s resolutions can be fickle initiatives that quickly dissolve as fast as a New Year’s Day Alka Seltzer chaser. In years past my resolutions were long forgotten by the time Groundhog Day came around. But this year my commitment and resolve need to take priority one as it will completely affect my life. It is time for a new body, a new soul and to embrace the process of change itself, not just the results that I hope to accomplish.
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.
It really is amazing how far sports marketing has come in the last few years. The leaders in the industry continue to innovate in order to make an impact with professionals, and amateurs. This is a case study on how one of the biggest brands in sports decided to make an impact on the weekend warrior. Using an unknown, slightly overweight, amateur cyclist you may know as Heavy Eddy.
I’ve just spent 2 weeks recharging my battery. Sure, I’ve spent time on the bike, after all what kind of vacation does not include cycling? But it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve really pushed myself through any prolonged efforts or taken a visit to the pain cave. Since then, I’ve stopped mid-rides for Italian ice, conversed with friends during rides without gasping mid story, and even been able to even hum a few bars of my favorite Taylor Swift ditty while rolling on the fattie. Basicly, I’ve been riding on rainbows, in the company of unicorns and fuzzy bunnies for the last 2 weeks.
I almost died last week.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a great story about how I cheated death while daring a high-speed 2-wheel descent down a mountain pass or a base-jumping accident. Or even better, saving an elderly woman, children, or a litter of puppies from a burning building. Nope, mine happened while doing yard work. Exposure to something caused an anaphylactic reaction while mowing the lawn. This earned me an ambulance trip to the ER. But in every cloud… there is silver, yet I say, platinum lining! I now am free of all yard duties until I can assess the culprit. Yes, in a manner of speaking you might say I am allergic to yard work! Which in itself made this the best week of my life!
Only 2 miles from home, the sky growled and the angry bolt strikes surrounded us. They test us and motivate us to go harder. The conditions were unsettling but there was little choice. Then the downpour. Generally, I like a refreshingly random rain ride but there was a feisty anger in this morning’s drenching that marked an ominous cap to an oddly eventful 6 a.m. ride. When I got home and sat down my chamois pad squished beneath me and released what seemed like a quart of gritty water onto the floor below me. I looked over at my shoes and a quarter-inch of water had pooled in the bottom of each one. I could swear there were a couple of minnows swimming and calling my Specialized road shoes their new home. I just hoped my iPhone managed to stay dry enough to keep from shorting out. Sometimes, you just take what is given to you.
There is a reason for everything. It may not always make sense to us at the moment. But with time it often reveals itself. We need to keep our mind and eyes open. This is a story about Taylor Phinney’s discovery through recovery. A year ago I watched him win an amazing stage in the Tour of California, then a few weeks later he suffered a serious career deterring injury. Ironically, this opened his mind to an amazing ability that flourished from within. But what is more illuminating as he gains so much more from it all, is that he is able to spend this time with his father and develop a perspective that enlightens his life and awakens his perceptions. Truly inspiring.
There is a difference between feeling pain and getting hurt. Pain is draining. Pain is demoralizing and pain is emotionally degrading. Anyone who has felt true pain in a lasting state can attest to it’s burdening effects on mind and spirit. Getting hurt on the other hand is what can make you appreciate what it’s about to be alive.
Its been a few weeks since I’ve re-dedicated my attention toward my training plan. I’ve been maxing efforts during interval training as I am close to the end of our 11 week winter session. I’ve had a few interruptions but we’re now near the end of indoor training and starting to spend more and more time outdoors. I’ve noticed some great progress but I am still prone to some days where things just do not seem to be clicking properly. When these happen I realize it may be time for a recovery day.
Sometimes a great product just needs to be shared with as many fellow cyclists as possible. This is one of those products. It’s called Brave Soldier Antiseptic Healing Ointment and it is used on burns, scrapes, road rash, rug burns, cheese grated flesh wounds, zombie attacks and any other minor skin wound you might encounter. Of course for cyclists suffering painful road rash I hear this is the ideal treatment. I will not review all the product details as you can read it for yourself, but I will share my experiences hoping you will encounter the same speedy relief as I have.