Missing my bike

Ever since I got back from my super long bike trip (with the accompanying wrist injury), I haven't been able to ride. Basically, until the nerve heals, riding is a no-no. I tried my best to reason my way around that, but I couldn't--at least not without becoming really disordered or risking permanent hand injury. Seeing as I need to type to pay the bills, and crochet is one of my favorite hobbies, permanent injury would be really bad.

So no biking.

It's not been easy. Okay, yes, I miss the exercise part. A LOT.  I can do other things, but (insert whiny voice here) it's not the same. I've been doing an extra drop-in dance class at the community center to get some other type of activity in that doesn't involve my using my hands much. And I can go outside for a walk and do other things.

Really, though? I just want my bike back.

As hard as it is, the enforced rest from cycling has helped me better connect with what I actually like about the sport, above and beyond the endorphin rush. I like the wind in my face and hair. It's limited with a helmet, but still. I love being outside. I love being able to move under my own momentum. I like the solitude of being out by myself and deadline stress melt away because I can't do a damn thing about it when I'm X miles away from my computer. I also like feeling part of a larger community, even if they go much faster than me and are typically outfitted entirely in Spandex, which will never happen here, kids.

I also really like the feeling of achievement after finishing a long ride or improving my time. I try not to get caught up in the numbers and other minutiae, but it does feel really good when I beat times measured loosely on my iPod clock.

These feelings are very different compared to when I thought of exercise in terms of machines, blinking red numbers, and in quantitative categories of calories burned, miles run, and time elapsed.  It's less about "exercising" and more about the experience of cycling. No, thoughts of burning calories aren't really that far from my mind, but it's also not always my primary motivation for going. It's hard being deprived of one of my favorite healthy coping skills, but I'm surviving. I'm cranky and crotchety, but surviving.

I cannot wait, however, to regain strength in my hand so that I can get back out there. Only this time, I will wear my padded gloves the entire damn time, no matter how hot it gets.

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hm said...

Know what I love about this post? It shows how well you are getting to know YOU. You and biking is the opposite of you and an ed. You have set careful goals with regards to self-care/nutrition and rest as you have become a more avid biker. You are truly EXPERIENCING things and connecting to yourself in a way you weren't previously. I think it's not JUST biking you miss- I think you miss all of THAT- the connectedness with yourself and how good and healthy that feels- the self-care and personal pleasure you experience with biking. It's way cool. You're entitled to whine about missing your bike. Sending you healing vibes so you can get back to it again soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your injury means you can't do the activity you love. Activity is vitally important to me, too.

I am 15 years older than you and my knees are knackered. But I can walk, and walking is very important to me. It has nothing to do with calorie-burning. I like to move; it feels good.

I do miss cycling though. I used to do masses of cycling, including road racing as well as mountain biking. It is exhilarating.

I hope your poor wrist heals quickly!

ebby said...

This was interesting to read as I had literally just blogged about rowing in relation to my recovery. One of the things that I have most 'gained' from recovery, is turning exercise from something that I compulsively HAD to do, to something that brings me enjoyment and happiness and which is no longer all about burning calories. I hope your hand heals quickly and that you can get back out in the wind soon! x

nikkicookskale said...

I live in Boulder, CO, I do wear lycra, and I still get passed by world-class athletes riding much, much faster. But being outside and alone on a quiet road--especially going up into the mountains around here--is worth every bit of sweat!

HikerRD said...

I, too, love biking for all the reasons you listed. (I do wear lycra--just don't hold it against me.) Isn't it nice knowing that once your injury is recovered, that you CAN ride? That your eating disorder isn't standing in your way? What an accomplishment to be able to take part in activities (beyond knitting and crocheting!)that really bring you pleasure.
Personally, the accomplishment factor is huge. Living with the uncertainty of MS, every long ride I complete feels like a gift; I take none of it for granted.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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