2012 was a dark year for me. I survived the end of a long term relationship, using distance running as my outlet. During training for an ultra marathon, the pain in my left foot could no longer be ignored — I listened to reason and finally saw a doctor who gave me the devastating news that I had given myself a severe stress fracture, requiring months on crutches and weeks after that wearing a walking boot. I saw exercise, my outlet and my bright spot at the end of the tunnel, fading away.
The months rolled by and I was finally allowed to exercise again, and my physical therapist recommended biking. It had been over 15 years since I had last ridden a bike, and I had a strong aversion to biking — I remembered it as something I hated. As a child, my dad took our family out on grueling bike rides, and I have distinct memories of feeling miserable climbing the hilly area around my hometown on endless journeys, suffering while taking the long route to ice cream shops. However, I NEEDED an outlet and so I caved. I borrowed a bike from a friend that was way too big. I enjoyed the feeling of the wind on my face, but I didn’t enjoy feeling so awkward and out of sorts on this giant bike. I felt unstable, constantly teetering; however, the exercise was my salvation. The feeling of exerting myself, the sweat drops slowly developing on my skin and being whisked away by the breeze … it was pure magic.
I enjoyed endurance exercise in the past and really missed having that outlet, and I missed that meditative state that I only find through exertion. However, the loaner bike wasn’t cutting it. The fit was poor enough that it limited the amount of time I could comfortably spend on the bike, which made finding that peaceful place in my head impossible. Logically, I NEEDED to buy my own bike. My next few weeks Continue reading