Since I was a little girl, I have been told by my father, time and time again, that I have special “super muscles”. It wasn’t always what a girl wanted to hear, but to this day at age 36, my father reminds me of these so called super muscles. I know that I am not really a super hero or have these so called super muscles– so don’t worry I have not lost all my marbles!
My body has been pretty beat up over the past 6 months with surgery, all the drugs pushed through my system and the lack of sleep that I am still so unfamiliar with this new state of “fragile” that I am in. I am not use to limiting my physical activities or not eating certain foods to avoid getting sick or mouth sores. I even have been opting out of social events to avoid getting sick.
My last visit with my oncologist was on October 28 and on that day my blood counts were all on the low side. Since I was finished with the major chemo treatments, the doctors preferred to let my body generate new white blood cells all on its own- so I did not receive the shot to help this process. Since I was not getting the shot it would leave me more susceptible to infections and germ. My doctor gave me not so specific instructions, but two simple instructions: I was told to take it easy and not to play in the dirt. I had to ask if that meant mountain biking and she said she would prefer I didn’t. And if I got a fever of 100.4 or higher, I was to call. I listened to half of her instructions, which mean I took it “easy” and only played in the dirt one day. I did take my temperature a lot. It was Halloween weekend and while I would have liked to go out and about, I opted to stay in and keep clear of large crowds. I also wanted to save my energy for the trails.
Some highlights of that weekend.
|Halloween day- I played in the dirt.|
|Making yummy whole wheat cinnamon apple walnut pancakes for my guy.|
|And carving our pumpkin- spooky|
It wasn’t as hard to listen that weekend as it was this past weekend. I have been feeling a lot better and the weather was on the cooler side but sunny and perfect for the woods. Saturday G and I took a mellow but long adventure ride up the Aqueduct. It is a great way for us to get our continuous pedaling and stay off the streets where it is always colder.
Sunday was the first group ride I have done since May. It was at Blue Mountain with a bunch of folks I know from the WMBA. This is the time of year that most people come out for much more social riding. Nobody is really in a hurry or training for anything as the race season is over for most. When we arrived on Sunday morning the lot was full of fellow riders ready to head into the woods- it was so great! It has always taken me about 30 minutes to warm up but this morning was a lot different. We had about 19 people on this ride so where I usually would be right up at the front of the pack, I quickly shuffled myself to the back of the line. I have had to let go of my ego and remember to ride within my new limits. I didn’t want to blow the day in the first 10 minutes trying to keep up. I am not that same girl I was prior to surgery- not yet at least. I was riding stronger than I have been and feeling more comfortable with my bike handling skills since before my surgery. Although I had moments of brilliance (I cleaned a really technical rock garden that on good days I may only clean 50% of the time!!), I had moments where I would go around an obstacle or dismount and walk it if I was unsure of myself. Hesitation will knock you right off your bike. That or your handle bars clipping a tree!
I was starting to get tired and knew that we were almost done with the ride. I was pedaling with G and a couple friends of mine at the back of the pack. I know they were back there to hang out with me and I was happy to have the company. We were not on a particularly technical trail, but it is a brand new trail so I didn’t know it all. That is when it happened- My handle bar clipped a tree and which sent me flying and causing me to land on the end of my handle bar – right to the stomach. I have always played hard and fallen harder, but this time it was different. In the past I would jump up, brush off the dirt and hop back on the bike. It always hurt but this day I was reminded how fragile I really was. I was relatively lucky considering how quickly a fall could cause a ruckus with all the plastic in my chest right now; it could have been pretty ugly. After a quick trip to the doctor today, it doesn’t appear to have done too much damage, but I am still pretty sore today.
I am more fragile than I use to be and no matter how I may look to others on the outside, I am not the same. I struggle with feeling week and tired- it is so hard. Every day I wake up and hope that my special “super muscles” will kick in and help me.
None of this will stop me from riding my mountain bike- when my gut doesn’t hurt so badly, I will ride again, but I promise to be more careful.
Here are a few shots that G took on Sunday.
|Staying focused- this is not where I fell.|
|Most of the gang stopping for a break.|