Recovery boots for legs that hurt from doing nothing.
You can’t win for tryin’.
The complete and total internet silence emanating from this site has been an echo of my state of mind: I’ve had nothing positive to say, so I will say nothing at all.
The Cliffs Notes of the last couple of months are thus: my patellar tendon completely failed to respond to PRP. An MRI and three opinions later, and there’s nothing I can do about the fact that my tendon has become “significantly diseased.” As a result, I am scheduled for surgery later this month.
I haven’t ridden my bike in six months, and it will likely be another six before I am truly riding.
After three years screwed up by back injuries, I’m now losing yet another year. I find myself thinking, What? A year??? Seriously? Although I know plenty of people who have been injured and lost significant time, they also has significant injuries. Broken bones, back surgeries, and the like. Traumatic insults to the body, for sure. And me? I had tiny little micro-tears in a tendon that simply refused to heal. And now they are big tears that have little hope of coming back together without the surgeon’s help. How tiresome and lame is that?
I can’t even begin to explain how sick I am of being injured. Not just this past six months, but huge chunks of time over the past FOUR YEARS. And as for this round, not only does it utterly suck to be in pain every single day for months on end, it’s even more demoralizing to see zero improvement. If you can at least see your body making efforts to heal, you can have hope. But when nothing changes and you feel no different from March to July, it’s easy to lose the faith.
And when I realize all the things I’ve lost along with my faith, it’s truly depressing:
1. A chance to race the Ashland Super D after a two-day clinic with pro Rebecca Rusch and then write about it for CyclingNews.
2. A spot as a blogger/rider for the Breck Epic Three-Day.
3. The yearly trip to Crested Butte with my good friends.
4. More opportunities to review women’s gear (and make much needed money).
5. The ability to ride Valmont Bike Park, which I have spent so much time dreaming about/writing about.
6. The ability to ride the new Benjamin trail at Betasso, another long-awaited addition.
7. Opportunities to ride in new places – always a coveted event in my book! — with friends both old and new.
8. Endless invitations from friends to ride in Fruita, Moab, Buffalo Creek, Curt Gowdy, etc etc ad nauseam.
9. And last but certainly not least, the daily pleasure of rides that keep me sane and happy. Not to mention the fact that without them, I am out of shape both physically and mentally. My legs are wasting away, my lungs and heart reflect how sedentary my knee has forced me to become, and my world has shrunk along with them. While everyone else is busy leading their fun and interesting lives, I just drag myself to work and back each day. For six freaking months now. Think back to what you were doing around Christmas, and that’s the time I actually rode my bike.
Well. So, now what? As a wise friend told me, I have to go through this. Can’t go backward or skip forwards. I need to gain what I can from this experience.
But is it considered immature and uncool if I’m damn sick and tired of life trying to teach me its damn lessons? Of course it is. In this town, where everyone’s neck deep in self-analysis, I’m supposed to instantly move on from this problem and gain some kind of spiritual quantum leap forward. Well, sorry. It’s not that easy. I’ve got a lot of other problems I’m dealing with besides this one, and they’re all pretty resistant to solutions.
Deeeep breath. Okay, got that off my chest. In the end, I do recognize that everyone’s dealing with shit. And things could certainly be worse. I’m not permanently crippled (although it’s starting to feel like it), I have wonderful and supportive friends, and thank god I have a job with health insurance, or the surgery couldn’t happen at all.
So what’s keeping me going? This:
I will be attending the United Bicycle Institute in Portland this fall. It’s been a dream for many years, and I have finally worked out how to make it happen. Stoked!!!
So while I’m basically watching the summer pass me by, at least I can bring this other desire to fruition. And maybe I can get a handle on these other issues while I’m at it.
Keep on riding, everyone, and be grateful for even the bad days. Being able to ride — even if you think you’re slow or bad at it or whatever — is a tremendous blessing. And the unvarnished truth is….you never know which ride might be your last for a long, long time.