Coping (or not) with injury

I mentioned last month how I had swapped my Specialized Roubaix for my first ever E-bike, added a pedal adapter and was now more able to get out and about with the girls using the bike trailer. Having been away from competitive cycling since I broke my hip last September and then having complications with my left knee, I was getting pretty down by not being able to ride greater distances. For me, cycling is like a medicine that helps to keep my depression in check and without it I was noticeably more subdued and moody.

I’m fortunate enough to have a partner who understands what I’m going through and some of the underlying causes of my depression. I know only too well that at times I can be very difficult to live with, so Hike’s support is a real source of strength for both of us. These days I speak fairly openly to people about my illness, but I still see that for many, it is a subject that makes them very uncomfortable. I hope to change this and I’m actively working on it, both through my media profile (Facebook etc.) and by writing more here in my blog.

The ROM pedal adapter

My spirits were however lifted somewhat after my latest appointment with the UMCG hospital, because for the very first time I was given hope that my knee would be properly assessed. This new surgeon was pretty curious as to what was going on with it and unlike previous doctors I had seen, agreed with me it was unacceptable that anyone should put it down to either wear, my age, or both.

Calling in his more senior colleague, they were stumped by why I was unable to move it beyond my current limitation of 90 degrees, as the small tear in my meniscus didn’t really seem to be the cause. Hence I’m scheduled (much sooner than previously told) to have an operation to look at it properly and hopefully fix it.

This will happen before my TCR07 volunteer duties and I hope to be well enough to actually cycle quite a section of the way there, especially if it is not particularly difficult surgery. A bit of good luck would be nice for a change!

While waiting for the final details to be released by Lost Dot, I’ve been keeping an eye on train schedules and costs, which appear to getting more expensive the nearer to the event we get. So we’ve decided to book the train down to Stuttgart and I’ll cycle to CP3 from there, a distance of approximately 300 km. It’s not as far as I’d originally hoped (I had more in mind cycling most of the way) but with the knee operation now in the mix, it makes sense to be more prudent and allowing extra days to travel will give me more options too. If I’m fitter than expected it could even leave me with additional days to explore.

It’s worth mentioning that along with actually cycling as a means to help with my depression, the planning and preparation of events (whether as competitor or volunteer) really does keep my spirits high and this is one of the main reasons why I’m only too happy to help and advise others. I’d be interested to hear from any of you out there what your coping mechanisms are, let’s have more openness and discussion please and if you like, put your comments below. Thanks.

That’s it for now, except to say that the Ultra Cycling races have really started in earnest and I’m following the action, both through dotwatcher.cc and trackleaders.com

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