Today was the first serious cycling day of 2016 for me. It was a gorgeous 71 degrees outside, a couple of clean and lubricated bikes and fresh cycling gear. What could possibly go wrong?
Answer: Everything. Or at least it felt like it in my head.
I love cycling more than anything else in the world, but today was a rough day. I’ve been out of training for a little over a year. I barely rode 2 miles today, but those 2 miles felt like twenty both physically and mentally. Right now as I write this, everything on my body hurts. I’m shocked by how much of my musculature I’ve lost, and how demoralizing today’s ride experience was.
This moment right here is the one where everyone else quits and gives up. It’s scary going through this part, to have your Bambi legs.
There was, however, a saving roll; when I got into the bathtub to soak my muscles, I could see how hungry for the ride my legs have been. Even while in pain and nowhere near my former glory, I can feel that tiny spark of love for the activity again. Loving the hurt. I have to mentally go through the process of falling in love with cycling again. My body does as well.
Right now I’m not the same cyclist I was before, but very soon I’ll be strong again. Even though this is the part that sucks the most, it’s also over the quickest.
Fighting weakness (and for me fighting my chronic pain) isn’t about being able to hit harder than it hits. It’s about being too stubborn to stay down from getting hit and not becoming discouraged.
One day at a time, and we live to fight another day. Tomorrow.