I’m baffled, I just can’t understand. All my years of non-medical training; not reading textbooks, not going to university and not being a qualified Doctor and I still can’t keep myself fit and healthy! It seems that my patented ‘Denial Method’ of getting over illness may have some flaws. Those being that it does not work. I know, I can’t believe it either!
Having posted last weeks blog entry I took myself off to bed feeling a little under the weather. But during the night an old childhood weakness came back to haunt me.
It started with a slight feeling of pressure behind my right ear and gradually built to agonising pain. An ear infection. I used to get them regularly and knew the score; I knew the pain wouldn’t go away until the ear drum gave way and let some of the infection out and I knew that if I could get some heat against it it may ease a little. So I went in search of a hot water bottle, knowing deep down that I hadn’t owned one since I was about seven. It was time to improvise, please remember I was desperate at this point, it felt like the side of my head was about to explode! I eventually found a small plastic food pot with a screw on lid, filled it with boiling water and wrapped it in a towel and wearily headed to bed with it. I was fairly sure it would not be leak proof but that it would be uncomfortable so I wedged it down between my pillows and gingerly rested the side of my head upon it. It did leak but was still reasonably effective however it was 3.15am before I felt the eardrum pop and the pressure ease in my head.
I’m not usually a Doctor botherer but did need to see him this time and I have to say he was excellent. He was sympathetic to my ‘I feel like my body is falling apart’ statement and responded well when I told him I needed to be better soon to get back on the training. And so I left clutching my antibiotics and determined that they would make me feel much better by the next day.
I hope that I never lose my optimism about how quickly I will get well from illness but I know that it is usually misguided.
It was Friday before I was up to doing any kind of exercise and by then I was climbing the walls. Not least because sitting around resting gave me too much time to think and the little demons which flit around above my head were able to keep up with me for once.
But this weekend I was back on the bike and it felt so good. Perhaps the enforced break has actually done me some good. It certainly refreshed my appreciation of exercise; both the physical and mental advantages. I know that I am lucky to have exercise to get me through grief and realise what a difference it has made. All those juicy endorphins flowing around plus the ability to focus purely on the act of pushing ones body provide great relief from the whirring cogs of the mind.
The little bike felt good too. My enforced break gave her (Yes she has been professionally sexed and is definitely a girl!) time to go to the bike Doctor and have a new cassette and her peddles fitted, bottom bracket tightened, plus a general welfare check. It was like riding her from new again, wonderful smooth gear changes and no annoying little noises. Chris from Pukka Pedals in Southwell (www.pukkapedals.co.uk) had done her proud. I don’t have an expensive or fancy bike but I am comfortable on it and enjoy riding it, I’m pretty sure that counts for a lot.
Saturday saw a 35 mile ride with my sister (another of the C2C riders) to ease me back into things. We managed not to fall out, in fact I noticed that we had reached a good level of diplomacy with one another – it can be tough not to argue when you are jealous of your sisters bike (a very attractive black and pink Planet X) and her awesome leg muscles! It was so good to ride with company again and get into the finer points of the personality traits of Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.
I was blessed with good company again on my Sunday ride. Two charming gentlemen who were travel companions of Bob and I when we visited Nepal. It felt like a smooth and pleasant pedal filled with chatting, learning, laughter and memories. This put another 60 miles under my belt and has boosted my confidence in my distance ability and riding in a group.
In between the two rides a problem was solved for me. I had the chance to meet up with my best friend, Jo, on the Saturday night for a memorial quiz dedicated to Bob. My wonderful Mum had arranged the quiz and I think I will write about it in a separate post. For sometime now I have been trying to decide where to be at the and of June. It would have been Bobs 60th birthday and there was to be a big party. Ever since he died I have known it would be a tough weekend. He dreaded turning 60 and yet I know he would have celebrated with great gusto. The fun and laughter would have gone on until the early hours and Bob and his friends would have got up to all kinds of mischief. The hangovers would have been terrible.
But now these are all ‘would have beens’ and there is nothing to celebrate, it will be a weekend of reflection. I could not work out where to be; should I get out of the country (too lonely), go to somewhere special for me and Bob (too soon), stay at home (I just couldn’t)? And then Jo tells me she is going to Wales, to visit family with her partner, son and Dad and she invites me to join them. As soon as she said it I felt relieved, like a weight was lifted. This feels right. I will be with people who care about me and who I can laugh and joke with but I can take my bike and head out into the hills alone too. I can have as much or as little company as I want. I will be ok and I will get through the weekend (Jo has told me she will be glad to able to keep an eye on me). I only hope that all of Bob’s friends and family, who will also be suffering, can find their peace that weekend too.
Sometimes, if you wait, things just fall into place.
Be More Relentless.
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