I found this in a book of cycling quotes whilst I was off sick with my broken bones, and it's stuck in my mind ever since.
When I fell off my bike in May the thought of waiting three months to get back on the bike seemed an eternity, but if I'm honest, it's come round pretty quick. It's brought with it about a stone in weight and a pretty hardcore sugar addiction too, but I've finally started working on both of those...
Now that I'm riding again I'm forever thankful that I came out of it the other side and can continue doing what I love. Physically, I'm 'healed'. My bones are fused back together, scar is fading, and physio, gym work and swimming are helping to build strength back up again, but it's gonna be a long road.
The PT session I had this week is testament to that.
It was the first time I'd really used my arms in months, and it showed.
I know I've lost a lot of fitness and strength - not just in my arms, but my legs too. I did weighted stair climbs, barbell squats, shoulder press, bent and upright rows and deadlifts. Then powerbag squats and cable machine pulldowns (whatever they're called).
The barbell exercises were with a 5kg barbell, and the powerbag was 7.5kg and IT NEARLY KILLED ME. It all felt 100 times heavier.
Mending the mind
I guess patience and consistency is key right now so I'll just have to keep plodding my way back to fitness. And that's all fine, I can do that. Building strength back into my body is a time consuming, yet simple process, on the face of it.
What I can't do as well is determine whether my mind is healed after what happened.
Will I be able to ride the trails again like I used to? Edit: Not quite...
I'm riding to work every day on the roadie, and feel relatively confident on the commute, but haven't yet been out for a long ride more than 12 miles and certainly no big hills or long, fast descents (Coldean Lane, and Wilsons Avenue Brighton, I'm looking at you).
I've ridden the mtb on the road but not on the trails, where it belongs. The thought of riding any red, rocky trails or going back to Forest of Dean to ride the Verderers Trail where I stacked it fills me with fear right now but I know it'll have to be done at some point.
I have to get back in the saddle.
I'll leave you with this, which popped up at just the right time for me last week:
This. 🙌🏼💚 100 times over, and then a bit more. The massive cliche of 'you only live once' is so, so true. I'm definitely an all-or-nothing kind of person, I always have been. That's why I broke myself in the way that I did - I was in my favourite place, with a sexy new bike and I wanted to push myself and go faster than ever before on my favourite trail. The rush you get from throwing yourself down these trails is just immense. People have said to me to take it easy and not go back to the fast, flowy trails, stick to the road, or cross country. But I can't do that. I won't. Now that I'm cycling again my heart is heavy no more. But I still need to get back to the trails, and it's just a matter of time. Do what you love, guys, and do it full speed. Lukewarm is no good 🚵🏽
Do you hear that? I think I can hear the mountains calling...
Do you find the psychological side of injury and rehab hard?