Uppdaterat: 2 feb.
For just about a month ago I twisted my back. It had happened before, except this time I could hardly walk. I immediately dreaded not being able to cycle for a long period. Would I feel that joy again? Today was the day to find out!
Levels of pain
Here we go again, I thought, a new day coming and I'm ready for it! Trying to be positive on a mundane monday didn't help. As soon as I stepped out of bed I felt a bite on my lower back and saw myself reaching for the wall in pain and loosing my legs. Found the bed again, the pain seemed to be looking for the perfect spot to sting me again. I twisted my back, it doesn't happen very often despite my weight, but this time it was different - it was DEFCOM 1 level! I knew of 5 or 4 and even a 3 when I crashed during a gravel ride, but now the troops of destruction had been deployed and found the way to generate spasms all the way to my feet. Adjustment time The following four weeks were marked by an entirely different routine than what I had envisioned. Gone were the preparations for a Bikepacking trip that once again had to be postponed, the trais I looked forward to try the MTB on would also have to wait. In fact I became scared that if I biked with the MTB again my back would only get worse! Just now that I had learned new skills and began to enjoy it as never before! So typical!! So, yeah, morning exercises instead of riding, adjusting position everywhere else in the office and the house instead of on my bike saddle, scouting imaginary lines on the floor instead of in the woods. And, to make matters worse the weather became increasingly colder. The bikes remained in their closet, dirty and unnatended. Mr. Killjoy
My cycling motivation began to go down the drain. The pain triggered my anxiety and my mind received a visit from Mr. Killjoy and his negative thoughts and memories. I decided not to fight it. Let them come! Here, have a seat. Yeah, I remembered all of that, the time when I could hardly cycle, fearful of the opinions of others and of the pain I often felt after every little ride. But, guess what? I also remember the speed, the wind, the freedom, the air, the textures, places, the sunsets and the undescribable joy I felt riding my bike again after not having done for more than 10 years! That's what I want to focus on. So, Mr Killjoy, thanks for the visit, I understand you want to leave since the atmosphere in my brain just became unbreathable for you! Here's the way out! I will experience that joy again! These weeks on the back burner will only make my passion hotter!
Today is the day
The weeks passed and I got better. I tried riding the gravel bike around the neighbourhood, it hurt, but it worked! I repeated the short rides and back exercises and soon I could cycle my usual training ride to a town nearby. But deep within I was scared of picking up the MTB again. I cleaned it, oiled it, pumped the fork, the tires, made a new mudder for the front wheel. It would be almost a week before I finally made up my mind and said: today is the day,
I don't care if it rains, snows or hails, I'm doing it! The possibility of pain will always be there, but we live for today - tomorrow is also only a possibility! I'm going in!
Joy, pure joy!
Did I loose my skills? I was a bit shaky. Should I just bike on an easy gravel road nearby? No! I needed to know so I headed for a light trail to find out. And, there she was wainting for me, almost if asking why I had delayed our meeting. Joy, pure joy, beautiful joy! I understand why people often use the analogy "it's just like riding a bike". Indeed! The skills came back, the wind, the speed, the crispy autumn air, I was not scared! In fact, it didn't take long before I became overly confident and wanted to drop into a steep I hadn't tried before! I was feeling it again! I looked at the tiny steep descent, it looked doable. I looked for a good place to have the camera, found it. Thought about lowering the saddle so I could position myself better, and looked for a good line imagining where I'd brake and where I wouldn't. Then it occurred to me: wait, why ruin it? Today it will be enough to have the joy of biking with the MTB again. "Joy" and I went home remembering all the fun we had together. The little steep will have to wait, it's time will come! I'm looking forward to it!