I rode my bike on Saturday! I rode my freaking bike! I was like a kid on Christmas Day who’d found a bike attached to a string leading from the tree. I pushed off and took a few pedals – 14 months of fatigue hasn’t stolen my ability to ride – then increased my speed and stood up on the pedals, leaning over my handlebars and wiggling the wheels down the path. Oh the joy! The childish delight of riding a bike! If I’d been on a gravel path I think I’d have done fishtails.
And why was I on a bike? Well, my parents are in their 60s and they go bike riding (they have these sexagenarian-friendly bikes with only three gears so they don’t get confused) so I decided a fatigued 27-year-old could ride too. They rode a 5km loop around the Barwon River in Geelong while I stopped very early on and rested then backtracked to the car. I’d say I went 1km. I could feel my stomach muscles – what strange delight – I could feel wind on my face, I even enjoyed the feeling of lactic acid in my unfit legs!
This is my bike, her name is Ruby II (Ruby I was my first car, also red).
I bought Ruby II when I was living in hipsterville North Melbourne and everyone rode around on these toys. So there I was, a smiley girl on a red bike with a basket – happiness personified. When my mum and dad eventually returned I was resting on a park bench, my helmet still on, sucking on a glucose tablet as I was oh so exhausted. It probably wasn’t a very good idea, but it was sooooo good! And I am supposed to be doing graded exercise… but I suppose 0km to 1km might have been a bit too much of leap.
I went about rehabbing as soon as I got home which involved a half hour nap, some stretching, lots of water, some nasty magnesium drink, a spa bath filled with muscle soak, more stretching and a big sleep overnight. I’ve played sport my whole life so I know how to get over a big lacrosse match, a rowing regatta, a day spent on the back of a horse – or, in this case, 10 minutes spent on a bike. I woke up feeling ok, I thought I’d got away with it… Cue 5pm yesterday and an evil sinus headache crept down my forehead. My ears hurt. My neck hurt. My shoulders were in knots… I pulled a headband over my eyes to keep out the light and lay in bed. Hmm, maybe I hadn’t got away with it… Maybe I wouldn’t be sleeping so well that night, but hey, my legs weren’t sore!
Well, I’m alive today, but am feeling a bit grayscale. That’s the best way to describe the washed out post-wall-hit feeling I get. I can talk and walk and notice things but nothing is in full colour. It’s all a little slow, even my fingers are moving across the keypad at a dulled pace as I type this. I was supposed to go to Melbourne to see a very good friend today who is visiting from Perth. I ummed and ahhed about what to do then finally decided. What had I said in my last post? Less bravery, more acceptance… I texted Jules and she is coming to Geelong to meet me. Bike riding and a Jules visit in the one week – huzzah – the world isn’t too bad.