Ten days off the bike is the longest break I’ve had since I can remember. It’s possibly the longest stretch sans bici since I began doing long distances back in January of 2015, pre-Strava. It has been hard, sad, relaxing, and other things — just a weird time. And I’m not out of the woods in terms of the medical situation that put me there. Of course, I’m not the only person who’s had to stop activity for a health challenge, of course, and it could be far worse. Some people have crashes (Tour de France, on parle de toi!), surgery, or life-altering issues. I hope I’m not one of them. Physically, there are changes, and there are also psychological ones. That’s what this post is about, so click on through and check it out, already! Continue reading
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
— Theodore Roosevelt
Bike Life Is Hard; The Struggle is Real
Bicycling on average of almost 100 miles a week for the last two years, totaling 10,020, was damn hard. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really put in words what I went through to accomplish it. Yes, there’s much more serious suffering in the world, and I’m not comparing war, poverty, disease, accidents or having to even look at or listen to US President #45. However, when I put “suffering” in my posts as a key word, I am not kidding. I often truly suffered while biking. But I’m grateful for making the choice to push myself far beyond my limits or expectations of others who believe people with excess adipose can’t kick some serious ass. Wrong!
Some people say biking IS suffering. Strava has a “Suffer Score.” From saddle sores, to wrecks, muscle pain and cramps, nearly getting hit, maimed or killed by shitty drivers every single day, cold, wind, rain, snow, 100+ degree Fahrenheit Texas summers, and hills – gott im himmel, the hills! – and of course being on a bike for 10 hours riding 100 miles in a day four different times, twice back to back — is super [expletive] challenging. Even more so when you’re overweight, not so young anymore, and a full-time desk jockey until I was laid off a few months ago. (Anyone wanna hire A Dude?) So yes, the struggle is real, as those who do any sport at some distance and intensity know. But it’s nothing to be afraid of: Suffering forges you into a better, tougher, fitter you. And that’s way (weigh? whey?) more important than a number on a scale.