Rode my bike to school last Tuesday, and all I can say is UFDH. That was NOT the magical, beautiful, glorious return to riding I had hoped for.
Instead it was a slow, hard, reality check of a ride that was honestly not as fun as I hoped :( Guess the old body still isn't ready.
That being said, 4 weeks into the recovery process (4 freaking weeks! How has time gone by so fast) and I am starting to understand my feelings a little better/cope with the situation.
There have been a lot of hard moments in the past month, but a lot of beautiful ones as well. In the long run I really want to remember everything I thought and felt during this time in my life because it's been so interesting and probably one of those pivotal moments that shapes me as a person more then winning a race ever could. I have a lot of random feelings/experiences, so this is going to be a little spazy :)
|Sunrise on my one commute last week, made the pain worth it.|
At the same time that everything felt incredibly hard/sad, I think I dealt with the hard stuff better this time around than when I've hit road blocks in life in the past. I felt sad, yes, and frustrated and angry... but the hopelessness and despair were easier to work through and not obsess on. I guess with age and experience it's easier to deal with stuff we don't understand. So while I'm bummed to not be living up to the happy Larissa ideal, I am proud of myself for coping a little better.
There's probably something about how cycling was my core identity and now I feel so far removed from it having to spend so much time off the bike that makes it hard to cope with injury. I'm sure anyone who has dealt with time off the bike experiences this. It was everything about me before, it was all I thought about, all I dreamed about, where a lot of my self worth came from, and now it's like a void. Maybe my advice to others would be to have a back up hobby, haha. Shifting my sorrow/all the time I used to think about how I wanted to be riding bikes to ceramics has helped, a ton. It's still strange to not ride every day, but I have something to look froward to on a daily basis since I know three days a week I'll be playing with clay, so that's cool :)
|It helps that mugs make good Christmas gifts :) Gives me something to do!|
I think one of the reasons this has been hard is that riding a bike was taken away so suddenly (as it is with a lot of injuries) at a time when I was already unsure of my future in bike racing. I was pretty sure taking time off to start a family was where we were headed, but the uncertainty and then not getting to make the choice threw me for a loop. And the scary thing is that now I'm starting to feel like this is the best thing that ever happened to me in the sense that I was forced to stop, where if it WAS my choice I may never have dialed it back enough to really try to do the family making thing.