Many people will have setbacks in their lives....whether training, emotional, or physical. Last July I had a setback that cost me half a years worth of riding. My knee was perpetually sore and it hurt to even pedal. I finally broke down and went to the doctor to find out that I had tendinitis and all I had to so was stretch. Problem solved....back on the bike. The setback was hard though, because I was feeling very good before my knee flared up. I had just ridden my first century and had my weight under control and heading in the right direction. The problem I had was mental. We had a very difficult last quarter in 2011, and riding is my release from stress. When I wasn't riding, or doing anything for that matter, I could feel my stress building higher and higher. What would appear to be a minor setback was causing more and more stress without offering any release of that stress. In January I got back on the bike and started to spin. A easy week followed by a more difficult week. Knee feeling great. Setback over.....time to proceed and build the strength and endurance back up.
Now I am experiencing another setback. After my ride on Sunday my hand was really swollen. So much in fact that it didn't look like it belonged on my body. I would describe it as a large version of a chubby toddler's hand. Seeing this before while doing flooring I figured the swelling would away in a few days. The swelling has gone down, but the pain seems to be increasing.
The bike clearly makes it worse. I have made a doctors appointment and will get it checked out. I am hoping it is just inflammation and not a fracture or anything like that. Just aggravating that I want to be on the bike plugging away at base miles and the handlebars put pressure on the spots that hurt. I know the bike didn't cause the inflammation, but the bike encourages the swelling.
So, another setback for me. Instantly I want to think the worst and throw in the towel. My initial thought was "what if my hand is broken and I need a cast?" I could be off the bike for weeks. Second thought "I will never be able to be ready for Barry Roubaix if I cannot train". And if I miss BR then Yankee is only a few weeks later.......then Custer....and the snowball grows rapidly.
What I need to remember is that I don't know what is even wrong with my hand...but I will find out soon. I also know that setbacks happen.....but I wonder how many punches I can take. I am getting beat up and my cycling is taking the brunt of the blows. The sport I love. The sport that my son and I do together. The sport that my family comes to watch and cheer us on. So....how many punches can I take?
The answer is.....all of them.