One of my various jobs exposes me to people during some of their toughest times. In my experience, the most common reaction to hardship is surrender. When life gets tough, most people give up and run when they could make the choice to dig in and fight. I'm no stranger
to hardship, but I usually don't run away.
The new blood pressure medication I'm trying is a diuretic (it always amuses me that doctors have you try on new medications like you're trying on shoes). So, now that I've been on it about two weeks . . . it dehydrated me.
I'm not going to make excuses for myself. Yeah, I'm on medicine. Yeah, I'm tired. Yeah, it was rough; it made me really sick, and it hurt. I ended up needing a rescue, and I was queasy for hours afterwards. And, I was slower than I have been in months. If someone hadn't come back for me I don't know what I would have done. I wouldn't have quit, but I may have ridden home at 10mph.
Now here's the part I'm not proud of, and the point of telling you this: I let it really upset me.
But, what I failed to make a few people understand was this: it wasn't the slowness that upset me. If I rode at 15mph for 30 miles but felt AWESOME I wouldn't have cared. If I rode for 50 miles at 22mph but felt HORRIBLE I would have hated it. I do a good job of gutting it out through tough workouts and pushing through pain, so the low speed was just an indication of how tough it really was.
More than that, it was because I have been on the "let's-try-this-drug" roller coaster before. It It was like being instantly transported back to the bad ol' days. And I've worked WAY too hard to leave those behind.
So I cried.
Like a little bitch.
Even though my brain said
THERE'S NO CRYING IN CYCLING
I cried anyway.
Part of it is because I've felt SO good for SO long now that I forgot what it was like to feel bad. I foolishly attributed my newfound strength and confidence to my fitness level - when, in reality, an equal amount of it can be attributed to hard work and luck that none of my medical issues flared up.
I've come a long way, but I deal with the same demons. In this case, it's a combination of giving myself a break and being realistic. The two are related; we all have bad days, but I can't always expect myself to have the same performance as those who don't have medical issues. And, regardless of what anyone battles, not every workout can be perfect. Logically, I know this; emotionally, I have some work to do.
Coach Julia gave me a Come to Jesus speech, which I needed. In it, she asked me this: what if your Wednesday was not a setback but something put in your path to set you up for the next big breakthrough?
We all need an attitude adjustment from time to time . . . Wednesday was mine.
I always celebrate Easter with a workout. So, this morning I drove an hour each way to Clermont, to ride some of the highest hills in Florida (paradox, huh?) I churned out only a 15 mile per hour average (despite careening down some of these suckers at 40mph) (yes,40), but I was way happier with that than with any of my 17-20mph averages. Why? Because I coasted - not rode, not climbed, not struggled, coasted - over some of my most difficult inclines - hills that I once nearly had to walk a bike UP - and I tackled not just the steepest grade I ever tackled (5 years ago), but 3 of them, back to back.
I have no problem turning obstacles into opportunities; where I still need work is the little stumble in between. My goal is to someday take a bad day, bad news, feeling ill, etc. and progress straight to the opportunity without needing to stop in the middle and be a whiny-ass crybaby about it.
Someday starts NOW.