The words I dread most……”On your left!”

Injuries suck.

First off, they hurt. Crashing is not a pleasent experience, I should know – I have done a helluva a lot of it over the years. 

Second, they sideline you. Being forced out of the activities you love is no fun and you can be left feeling like the kid who never gets picked for the kickball team while all the other kids get to go play.

Third, you have to deal with the rehab and recovery.  I don’t bounce back like I did at 17 because, lets face it, I am old.

But injuries are part of what I do. If  I’m not prepared to accept that then I shouldn’t play the way I play. Simple as that.

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But to the matter at hand – I’m no longer injured. I’m in recovery. And I am in that part of recovery that is mental torture! You see, the first part of the recovery process can actually be quite relaxing. You have an excuse to lay on the couch, watch TV, drink beer, eat ice cream, and generally fall apart a little bit. You can day dream about the great days you  have had and think about the great ones to come. It can be a nice little reset. On the other end, when you are on the cusp of being back to 100%, you start to feel fired up again, you are back in the saddle, you are charging ahead and doing what you love with barely a  hinderence from that almost forgotten mishap.

But then there is that really awkward and diffcult place in the middle. That place where you are mentally fired up to go at 100% but your physical therapist, friends, and most importantly, your body say “You are not ready.”  That’s where I am at. My mind is willing but the body is weak. 7 weeks on crutches did me no favors for physical fitness, but I accepted that it was part of the deal and moved on. But now it’s time to get after it right? Wrong. This right here, right now, is the mental crux of recovery. That place where every Type A, driven, adrealine addicted fiber in your body is screaming to just GO! GO! GO! but reason, sound judgment and good friends say NO! NO! NO! Recovery is a science and an art. it takes time and the process can’t be short cutted. Rushing back may give some instant gratification but this is about the long game.  And make no mistake, how you handle the now can drastically affect the future.

So yesterday, when I got on my bike for a gentle spin on the road, I was happy to just be on my bike regardless of the pace or distance. The fact that I am riding a bike and walking normally is a win; it sure is better than crutches! And I was able to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. Knowing that very soon I will be back at 100%.

And then I heard it. That dreaded phrase that is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

“On Your Left!”

Someone passed me. Like I was standing still. I forgot all of that mellow, I’m ok, you’re ok, let’s all be happy and zen stuff. All I wanted to do was grab a gear and chase him down.

Some might say I’m a teensy bit competitive.

But I didn’t do it. Mainly because I couldn’t actually physcially do it….but that’s not the point. So more accurately, I didn’t try to do it. Let’s say better judgment prevailed.

And hey, lets face it, thats a bit of a victory for me.

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