More a marathon than what meets the eye
This is probably going to be the last time I talk about my injuries seeing as even I am getting sick and tired of my complaining. I find that for the majority of ailments we often revert to the five stages of Loss and Grief.
- Denial: On the day of the crash, once I had gotten up, cleaned my wounds as best as I could, assess the damage (both to my body and the bike) I naturally underestimated and eventually denied the amount of time it would take for thing to heal. It’s been a week now and I find myself slipping deeper and deeper into an emotional funk (but more about that later.)
- Anger: While the first shower leaves you screaming in pain and anger it is once things are settled that we assess what exactly took place (next to explaining it to all our friends who want to know the same thing) and realize what a careless mistake we made (and could have avoided.) Anger also comes from a lack of patience. I sit in my bed thinking about the thousands of epithelial cells repairing themselves and still wonder why things take the amount of time that they do.
- Bargaining: I have bought several types of bandages in an effort to expedite the recovery process. I lay in bed most of the day to conserve energy so repairs can be made. This has proven to be a psychological burden on my esteem and fitness. Watching the sun rise and set from my bed can only be described by the next step in the process.
- Depression: The old’ familiar feeling. I haven’t been clinically diagnosed with this type of condition. However from what I have heard from others, the biggest factors that come into play are duration and severity. I’ve felt sad long before I took this spill on my bike. The feeling of being anchored by lack of motivation has reached a new level though. I know that idle behavior is necessary to prevent prolonged recovery, but I am less and less motivated to find alternatives to pass the time. There has been a book laying around in my bed for the past two weeks that I haven’t touched (and its about cycling too!) on top of that, I don’t see much of a point to talk with friends. When it comes down to the subject of reacquainting, my condition hinders me from such outings. The worst part of stumbling on group ride photos on weekends. I have done my best to stay away from Strava for this entire time. On top of that I have gained weight and know that fitness is being lost. Its what I imagine being sedated feels like. You are able to recognize that there are things to do, people to interact with, alternatives to your idle behavior, but you choose not to do any of the above in apathy.
- Acceptance: Haven’t gotten there yet. Once I have most of my mobility back, I’ll begin to share what that feels like.
There is a bit of good news to this sad story.
After racing for so many years and developing a plan to specialize in a race I would like to participate in, I have figured out a formula to rebuild myself back to the stud I once was. I know the necessary steps that need to be taken and have the means of doing it. I plan on getting a lot closer to my track bike than I have since I bought it. Stepping back and no longer thinking about training while currently training has made my goals clear and defined. I can now focus on what matters most, and make my best effort to reach those goals. I know things will work out due to a recent stream of success in these off season crit races.
So up until then, I guess you could say I’m in my off season. An off season filled with eating more (or about the same) as I used to when I was on the bike followed by beers to try and keep the mind from dwelling on the longing to get back on the bike. When the time comes to hop back on, everyone will know about it.