The intermix of cycling, marriage, reflections of the past and the need to get back to the future.

Today is better than yesterday. And, hopefully, not as good as tomorrow. I began to come to terms with things last night and didn’t find myself watching the alarm clock and wondering when I’d finally get to sleep. I think it helped that I could finally sleep on both of my sides last night, plus, frankly, it was a bit comforting hearing my wife’s snoring. How’s that for weird? It’s funny, after being married almost 40 years, the things you find endearing about your wife. The feeling’s definitely not mutual though; she can’t stand my snoring!

One of the issues I’ve been facing, without being able to ride my bike, is too much focus on the past. Nostalgia is cool, to a point. But when you start reliving past experiences, it can sometimes get a bit weird. Especially when you live with someone you’ve known for 43 years, there’s an awful lot of nostalgia! Fortunately, most of it comes under the category of things I’ve enjoyed with my wife. But also a few not so fun things from the past, before I met my wife, and I remember those as well. Any any past girlfriends reading this, ok, there’s really only one (Jenny), you too are a part of what I’ve become today. Not in a bad way. 🙂

My wife, about 6 months pregnant, back in 1987. On Facebook I tagged both her and Becky (in the tummy).

I don’t have the ability to block the less-pleasant stuff. Or perhaps I don’t think such things should be blocked out, because I believe that where I am today is a product of everything I’ve done in my past. I believe we all are. Thankfully, in my nearly 40 years of marriage, I have nothing dark during that time to reflect upon. I especially enjoyed reading through the diary my wife wrote while pregnant with our first child, Becky. I had forgotten we had considered “Lindsay” as a name. (As long as I’m possibly embarrassing my kids, I should be fair and point out Kevin’s name was picked from the sports page of the SF Chronicle). I also recognized what an amazing talent she has for writing; she pulls no punches and expresses herself in a way that makes you feel “you are there.” Like the way I try to write about bike rides, only I have to include photos, while she excels with words. And the way she writes about feelings, not just things, is beautiful. Being married has been a wonderful thing. Thank you Karen (wife), Becky (daughter) and Kevin (son) for that. Along with a few cats and many Corgis along the way.

Anyone reading this might understand how much I need to get back on my bike. My life is about cycling, and who wants to read this personal drivel? Except that, I’m realizing now, that isn’t totally true. It’s more of an anchor that keeps me focused on the more-positive things in life. Once I’m back on the bike, I’m pretty sure a lot of my reflection upon the past will go away. I pray that my wife will put up with me until then. I think we’re both counting the days until I can get back on the bike. 12.

Maybe being 63 is tougher than I thought / not what I wanted to hear from Ortho doc

This has been a really rough few days since my birthday last Sunday. I think most of it, nearly all of it, comes from dealing with being off my bike for 4 weeks, and today I just got the news that there’s no “early release” for me; I’ve been told I need to stay off my bike the full 6 weeks. I’d really been hoping that yesterday’s new x-rays, which I requested to try and prove I was ready to get back to normal, would show a miraculous healing and I’d be told it’s time to get back on the bike.

No such luck.

My healing is progressing “normally.” Things look good, but no evidence of alien DNA that magically repairs the body. The only alien influence are an inability to escape a focus on darker things and a lack of fight. It’s really odd; here I’ve got a chronic bone marrow condition, and it’s not even in the back seat. It’s been left behind in some other country. And thinking about it doesn’t hold my interest for a second right now. The focus is entirely on the four weeks I’ve been off the bike, and now, the two weeks left ahead of me.

It’s not like I’m not improving. A major milestone happened just over a week ago, when I could finally sleep on one side. And then, for the first time, last night I was able to sleep on my other side. And yet sleep has been elusive, because I’ve been feeling nervous/anxious about things that really shouldn’t be bothering me. I’m stronger than that, except that, without the regular challenge, both physical and mental, that cycling brings to my life, it’s kind of like I’m all revved up and no place to go. It’s like there’s this giant ball of energy that should be fueling my pedaling up steep climbs, but it’s not, so it’s accumulating and turning rancid.

My weight obviously started going up in the first few weeks, but it’s gone the other way since. But there’s no shortage of visible fat! What’s it going to feel like, that first real day back on the bike? Two weeks to go. Maybe when it gets down to a few days, I’ll start to get excited and turn the corner.

Intellectually, feeling sorry for myself is absurd. A good customer came in today to get his bike checked out after a serious crash. Over three months ago. He’s still in a neck brace. And he seems to be of totally sound mind. If he can do it, I should be able to. Notice I didn’t say, if he can do it, I can. I hope I can! I hope tonight is that first night where somehow I feel like I’ve turned the corner, get enough sleep, and wake up ready to take on the world.

April 2nd. That will be the end of my 6-week exile from cycling. It can’t come soon enough. –Mike–