I love cycling. Cycling is easier than walking. Walking or jogging or running (should I actually get to that speed) is slow, tedious, laborious, and painful. Cycling is easy. I just get on the bike and keep the pedals turning. Steady, continuous, effortless, fast. Well, until that roadie on the expensive Felt wearing the aerodynamic helmet and fancy kit zips by.
There’s not a day of the year that I don’t look forward to getting on my bike and taking her out for a spin. I don’t care where. I don’t really even care about the weather, as long as I have the right gear and as long as it isn’t icy. I might stay in if there is pouring rain…and standing water. Water does make the stripes on the road awfully slick. I’ve ridden in the mud, pouring rain, over fallen trees, on single track in the middle of December. While I’m not exactly a beast when it comes to singletrack or downhill, I’m certainly not anything close to a fair weather cyclist. My mantra, and the mantra of The SO (Significant Other) and My Son is, “Even a bad day on the bike is a pretty good day.”
But lately, I’m ill, and I know I’m ill because I just don’t wanna.
I just don’t wanna ride.
Actually, that isn’t entirely true. I do want to ride. I just don’t want to do what it takes to get in the saddle and I’m not up for anything more than collapsing after I roll up into the driveway at the end of the ride.
While I’m on bike, though, I’m golden.
All those 50-year-old aches and pains disappear. Any drama or stress I’m dealing with dissipates, because, seriously, I can ride 40+ miles in a day and want to go for more. Problems? Issues? Really? There aren’t many people my age, doing what I’m doing and even fewer women. Let’s talk about strength, endurance and ability to mentally persevere. Yeah, you go try to take that two mile hill without coming off your bike, Mr. Financial Pressure and see how you do. You go and try to keep pedaling at that rate Ms. Whatever Might Come Your Way. I can take you you on.
That’s the thing about cycling…at least…for me.
When I ride, it’s better than any drug, not that I was ever a druggie type. (Just watch your baby-sitter get wheeled out of your home on a stretcher because of an overdose and you’ll never be tempted to even experiment with any kind of narcotic. Trust me. And, no, I’m not making that last bit up. It was terrifying, and the best drug awareness education I could have received.) But I digress…
When I’m on two wheels, wind blowing past my face, feet clipped in, sun on my shoulders… I’ve become one with the bike. I am truly invincible.
On all counts, I’m stronger than most anything life dishes out, on and off the bike, specifically because of my efforts on the bike.
Exercise, according to my surgeon and my oncologist, will cut my risk of recurring cancer in half.
Even if that weren’t documented by research, I’d love cycling because of how strong I feel when I’m riding and how I can note my progress with each mile, each hill, each ride.
So, what’s up with the “I don’t wanna” mentality?
I’m guessing this is just a side effect of the radiation treatments. They warned me. They told me I would experience fatigue for a while after the treatments were done. I’m hoping that’s all it is. I mean, it isn’t that I don’t want to ride, but I just don’t seem to have the energy it takes to do all the prep and the after work. Thank God I have people in my life that do that for me or I’d never ride these days. I’d just sleep. (Which, I hear, is probably not a bad thing either.)
But, I’m still a little worried.
What if this fatigued feeling doesn’t go away? What if this is the new normal? What if? What then?
I think I would start by crying.
I can’t even think of it.
I muster up the energy for another ride.
After all, once I’m on the bike, I’m golden.
And when I’m on bike…really…nothing else matters…I’m still strong and healthy and that is everything.