Monday, November 13, 2023


Blue skies, white clouds, red and yellow leaves, cool air, and strong gusting headwinds. 

Today in my desk journal I noted “ROAD to RECOVERY - Day 13”.

That is certainly true, but the truth needs context. 

For several years until the end of August of this year, every weekday began at 6:00 a.m. thanks to my watch gently vibrating me awake. Stealthily rising, gathering my clothes, and leaving our bedroom, doing my best not to wake Susan. Exercising, dressing, gearing up, and quietly leaving our home with my Brompton, for an 8 to 10 kilometre ride along one of three routes through our neighbourhood.

Towards the end of August I managed to overwork the many muscles in my right leg by refusing, stupidly I now see, to accept adapting my pace to the hills along my path. So ended my weekday morning rituals, terminated by pain as the soft tissues in my right leg rebelled against the persecution I had inflicted. With the benefit of hindsight I realize that as I applied significant force to the pedals to maintain my speed and pace, I was favouring my left leg and overworking my right. That was because in my lifetime my left leg was the one that suffered injuries, not my right leg. To protect the left, I messed up the right. dumb, dumb, dumb.  

Two weeks later, we were off to Europe and countless daily steps, up and down and around, with trudging up and down stairs thrown in for good measure. My leg saw this not as a well-deserved vacation, but as counter-insurgency measures intended to stifle their rebellion. 

That was September. 

We returned home and I quickly conceded defeat. 

In an earnest attempt at reparation (not that I had much choice) I spared my right leg as much as possible. Climbing the three flights of stairs in our home sparingly, with my left leg doing all the work. Keeping errands in the car to a minimum, with Susan at the wheel, as I twisted and shifted, moaning, under the constant attacks of pain and breathtaking discomfort, all meant to remind me that my right leg had won the war and had beaten me into submission.

That was October. 

This is November. 

Tomorrow I am having X-rays and ultrasounds.

My doctor, playing the role of a United Nations envoy, is assessing the war zone, searching for a path to peace and reconciliation. 

Thirteen weekdays ago, I was finally able to start a slow path to restoring my rituals. I am calling that path my ROAD to RECOVERY. 

For each step I take, for each exercise I do, for each token bike ride I take in the garage, I constantly murmur to my right leg my mea culpas, my heartfelt apologies, and my endless assurances that there will never again be persecution. That all future movement and travels will be disciplined, fair, reasonable, measured, and balanced.

Perhaps it’s the approaching medical assessment, or just the discipline of my determination to get back to ‘normal’, but I have been making slow and steady progress day after day.  

This afternoon I was able to chance my first outdoor ride since the troubles began in August. Even though it was a modest 4.69 km jaunt, it was truly joyful, and I am grateful. 

The struggles may be ending.

Peace may be in sight. 

There is hope.

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