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This is something that I am inclined to be private about. I am choosing to share because I want to write about the experience of pain. One of my goals through all of this is to be open and share what it is like in hopes that in some way it will bring good to the readers. The other reason I write about this is that it helps me process what is going on...
I've heard the saying that pain is weakness leaving your body. I don't mean to bitch but last night as I was struggling to do a few floor yoga poses that saying came to mind. And just like that it morphed. Pain is fitness leaving my body is what came up instead.
In 2007 I turned 40. I set my fitness and riding goals high, I trained hard, and got stronger and faster than I had ever been. I was doing regular yoga and core work, I dropped a waist size and got my weight to its lowest in my adult life. Best of all was my legs. Any cyclist knows what I am talking about. When you are putting hundreds of miles on your bike every month your legs become something to be proud of. That is why we cyclists shave our legs; vanity. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, we are proud of our legs. They look a lot better when they are shaved.
April is when I first started hurting. My shoulder and collar bone hurt when I lifted my bike up to put it on the roof of my car. They also hurt when I spent more than a couple of hours on the bike. Like a good athelete with goals I did my stretching and my exercises and iced and it got a little better. But as the year progressed the aches and pains grew. In August I called off the ride that I had wanted to do in Septmeber. KD, Ray, Uncle Don and I had talked about riding highway 50 across Nevada. It would have been a great adventure but my body was not feeling up to it.
Over the last couple of months I have spent progressively less time on my bike. The last real ride I did was December 21st. Since then the amount of pain I have been feeling has been too much to even think about riding. Over the last few days I have moved from over the counter and out of the garden pain killers on to the stronger stuff. I am trying to keep up with the pain. What I've learned from the various tests is that I am walking around with a bunch of broken bones; collar bone, ribs, the head of my left femur, and my right foot.
At this point my legs aren't so impressive anymore. No point in shaving them. I suppose that is a silver lining as far as the ChickenHawk is concerned (she Hates stubble!) I often feel anger with my body, like it has let me down. It is a hard emotion. My body has been a joy to be in for 40 years and now it is becoming more of a liability as the days pass. The pain is there as a constant reminder of what I am losing. Pain is fitness leaving my body. It is the same pain that you feel when you are soloing off the front trying to drop a pack. It is the same pain you feel when are pushing your hardest up a big climb. We all know, on some level, that the ability to deal with the pain is just mind over matter. Just put your head down and keep pushing.
I am saving that feeling of anger for the fight that I have coming.