long miles

I settled in to the bike for a ride. I was not sure where I was going, or how far I really wanted to go. It was a fitful night of sleep that dovetailed into a less than motivated morning. I just couldn’t get myself settled. The cut back in meloxicam really didn’t help matters. Sitting at the desk was miserable. I tried to get stuff done around the house. It wasn’t working. I called the pain management dr that the GP recommended. End of August. You have got to be fucking kidding me. It always seems to be that way with the pain docs. They are so busy, it is really scary. I just don’t get why I have to deal with a pain specialist. I don’t view meloxicam as a hard-core pain med. It isn’t. I just have to go with it, since the GP doesn’t seem comfortable with me staying on the med long-term. I’ve already been on it for quite a while. The option is to get the facet joints injected and hope that controls the pain. I think the epidural did help, so I’m hopeful that injected again might help. Though there is no guarantee, and there is the risk of steroids again. I know I said no steroids, but that is when I was content on meloxicam. Is it worth the risk? I don’t want to have to live with daily pain. I guess I’d be willing to roll the dice. Or I can just try to convince the pain dr to let me continue on the NSAIDs. They can keep track of my heart. I am fully aware of the risk of cardiac arrest. I know the risk. I understand the risks that are inherent in all the drugs I take, and in all the things I do each day. I can just as easily get struck by lighting bringing horses in during a thunderstorm, or get hit by a truck. Each day we live and breathe could be our last. It is just the way it is.
So back to the bike. I wasn’t all that comfortable, but I was so irritable and anxious sitting at home I felt I had to do something. I’m still fighting the achilles injury so it wasn’t like I was going to run. Off I went. finding my rhythm on a piece of aluminum and carbon. Feeling out all the quirks and nuances of this beast. I have a healthy respect for it. I’m not 10, and probably don’t bounce off asphalt like I once did. One of the only nasty scars from childhood I have was from a bike. I remember hauling ass down a hill and taking flight. Yeah, I landed on my face. ouch. Still vaguely remember my mother’s hysteria and the blood dripping off my shirt. Doesn’t stop me from dropping the hammer on this bike and feeling out just how fast she can be. Seems I like a little speed in my life. I’m just happy my back is comfortable on the bike. Probably because there is not much if any twisting at L-5, S-1. Now my ass on the other hand is not a happy camper. I was joking with the bike guy as he adjusted the stem angle that it isn’t like I’m a seat virgin. I sit on horses. My seat bones are not exactly untested. Yeah well, they are not all that thrilled with the saddle. The first couple miles were complete with plenty of curse words and whining. But it was just me and the wind. I settled into the climb away from the farm. It is a quick quad burning half mile. Nothing terrible, just a nice wake up. I set about the task, loving the descent on the other side. Flanked by 3 foot high corn and the chirp of late day crickets. I hit the turnaround point for the short ride and unclipped. I knew I didn’t want to go home. My ass sure did. I settled into the next climb without turning around. It is amazing the difference in the muscles used to drive the bike. It isn’t like I’m out of shape. Far from. But I do find it a challenge. It was a good thing today. My mind was occupied. My worries dissipated as the lactic acid built up. It seems an inverse ratio, always. I pedaled on. More corn, more farms. The 16 mile turn around was looming. All I wanted to do was keep going. An argument ensued in my head. I had to head back. It was late. I went to turn back. ok. slow down. unclip. um, yeah unclip. Why did I change the tension? It was a priceless moment as I fought with that clip. Complete with curses. In the last second I managed to get free and set down my free foot. I actually laughed at myself. It was pretty damn funny, but I managed not to fall or drop the bike. Off I went into the long climb to head home. As the miles flew by I realized how much I need a place to be free. Whether it be running, or polo, or riding. I need a place to step outside my anxiety. To shake free of my life for a time. I don’t know how to do it without these pursuits. I’m unsure how to create the safe space without tapping into the physical exhaustion.
I know it was a stretch to back two 15+ mile rides into a week with a bunch of 6 to 8 milers, but I so needed it today. I needed a quiet place of my own to come to terms with the news from yesterday. I had to wear myself down. I can’t say I found my happy place, but I came as close as I could today.


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