OK, I'm just spewing here, but I guess I'm in a mood.
I had a pretty harsh encounter with a tree on Saturday. I laughed it off but my quad was really sore and I wondered how it would be when I woke up in the morning.
Well, it was just like you'd expect: it hurt and my leg didn't work right.
At that very moment, I realized that biking, and specifically MTBing, is what determines my entire state of health and wellness. It makes me happy. It keeps me healthy. My level of participation is how I gauge or rate my health, both to my "normal" state and to others'. It is sometimes my source of injury. It is often my source of recovery - not only physically, but it is what puts my mind at rest, wrings out the angst and frustration, and sharpens my concentration, all while bringing out my inner child. As much as riding "picks me up", not riding brings me down. I need my bike.
So, I pleasantly recalled the last time I suffered some sort of injury. (yes, that makes sense ) I got myself on the bike. Not to be some sort of martyr for MTBing, but because I knew, optimistically, that it would make me feel better. ...eventually.
Those first few cranks were not right. It was cold, though, and I'd only been up a little while. (optimism waning again)
After breakfast the group was getting ready to go and I was going with them no matter what. I dropped in at the back and got that leg working. It loosened up and I rode really well. It still hurt, but I was already recovering. As in the past, the fact that I was riding made me see the end of a short road to recovery. My confidence (maybe you could even call it faith) in the recovery-by-riding process was renewed.
At work on Monday I was limping. I couldn't hide it and folks asked about it. They know me. They knew my bike did it to me. I laughed it off. I think they were still kinda talking behind my back, though, about, well, whatever mis-understandings they still have about my pasttime - the same way I question some of theirs. (That frickin' leg! If I just had my bike.)
After work, the grass needed cut. (I need my bike, not a tractor) Thankfully I have a rider. But then, it was off on my bike to meet my daughter at softball practice. (I had to try out the leg. I had to know. I had to see if I'd been duped by this recovery-by-riding nonsense that I'd embraced.)
I started out almost limply, but with a tailwind all the way there I didn't have to lean on it too hard, but I wanted to, you know. So I did. Just for 2 cranks. OK. Then 10 cranks. Then I had a little short hill and I wanted to see if I could keep the tires humming at the same frequency and not downshift. The leg was all there. I stomped on the pedals. It felt like a chunk of crap literally slid out of my leg. When we got home, I hung my bike and bounded up the stairs. The leg had a tiny nagging twinge of something left in it, but as I'm sitting here now, I am convinced that riding is the cure for everything. One more ride will fix it.
Now for a beer and off to bed.
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Thread: I Need My Bike (long read)