Monday, September 11, 2023

A break

Is it because I bought a leather saddle that needs to be broken in?

Is it because we will be taking a break vacationing in Spain this fall?

Is it because I was a little stressed-out in the days leading up to a half-day course I had to teach solo to a class of thirty or so colleagues on records management? 

It's hard to say.

Why would I stress out on giving a lecture when I literally wrote the book?

What's certain is that my body got itself into a funk that has required that I take a break. A break from my morning exercises, trading time in the saddle for time with Melina, our brilliant physiotherapist. The clock is ticking, as it always does, and I need to take this break, fix what needs fixing, and get back in the saddle.

I am closer to that this morning that at any time since the early days of this month, when my right leg went AWOL.

That's deeply ironic, because it's my left leg that has had issues, never my right. No massive skiing sprains, no dumb idiotic blows to my kneecap... my right leg has always been fine. Until it wasn't.

Melina showed me all the leg muscles on a cool application on her phone. They are the largest most formidable muscles on our bodies. They are all focused on our knee. Go figure. It seems that in the week or so before my right leg called riding quits, I was being, shall we say, a tad competitive. Resisting quiet relaxing contemplative rides, in favour of challenging myself on the uphill stretches. Can I do this hill at the same speed and pace as the level ground that precedes it?  And there I was, all hill long, focused on my cadence, feeling myself pull on the handlebars, breathing getting obvious... and YES!! I did it, WOW!

What did I do exactly?

It seems I antagonized the right leg muscle union, and the union called an unceremonious halt to the festivities. No more riding for you buddy.

And that's how my left leg muscles and I now find ourselves in mandatory mediation. Melina is the mediator. She gets the muscles' gripes. She gets mine. For a person who is much smaller than I am, she can sure work my leg muscles into submission in short order while we chat about stuff, interspersed by the occasional gasp, yelp or moan... on my part of course. Melina takes it all in stride with a smile, a dig, a pull, push, and stretch. Slowly, methodically, coaxing my right leg muscles into submission.

Thank heavens, it seems to be working.

Lesson learned (I hope).


SonjaM said...

Your body told you to take it slow. No competition, no challenge for you in the future. Keep on riding, my friend and be better soon. Cheers from the other side of the pond. SonjaM

David Masse said...

Hi Sonja,

Turns out that when you posted this excellent advice, we were on the same side of the pond. Susan and I were in Spain, in Malaga on the Costa del Sol.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.