Rattled and Setback, a question to the cycling community

sunset love lake resort

Maybe some have noticed . . . most probably not, but I have been off of the blog radar. Climbing off of my trainer on the January 16th, something was not right. It was a base spin without much effort of around 55 miles. I felt drained, even a little shaky. I thought it was just a long week, and I would feel better later. Not so fast, my friend. Next day? Same. Just tired, so I pushed on through the week.

Friday came, and there was a headache. I made it to work, but I could not get started. It was then I noticed a rash on both of my hands and wrists. What the?! I left work and went to get tested. Yep, Covid positive. Well, I guess being in a public school setting, with hundreds of students and staff, it was only a matter of time. No big deal. I will quarantine, rest and be ready to go in a week. Looking back, I was clueless.

The problem with the Covid virus is that the person who is infected never knows what bag of tricks will be delivered, by way of symptoms. Many people told me that they only experienced a slight headache for a couple days and that was it. Others have . . . well, died. I never had a fever. I never had a cough. I had the chronic exhaustion, clammy skin and heavy nausea. I did have the loss of taste and smell, but that was nothing compared to the constant feeling of being sea sick and needing to sleep if I walked from the living room to the kitchen.

So, what is the point? I have only told you what everyone already knows. However, last year, at this almost exact time, I had my accident that set me back months on the bike . . . and actually still have residual effects, mental not physical. Now, this. I am just tired of digging out at the start of the year. I have always been a fighter. If need be, I can force myself to climb back on a get the job done, but cycling is not about the miles per week or KOMs. There is deep passion for the sport and a genuine respect of the machine and the process. So my question to my avid cycling friends is this: should I take a prolonged time off of the bike? Is there some way to re-fire the passion? Why do I feel this way? This is certainly not a pity party. I just seek answers. I saw myself riding a bike until my final days on earth. For some reason, I am reminded of a poem by William Blake:

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:

Bring me my arrows of desire:

Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!

Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:

27 thoughts on “Rattled and Setback, a question to the cycling community

  1. I also contracted Covid during January. I was just getting over it as you caught it. I had some of the symptoms you had also but very mild. Fatigue was the biggest issue for me but thankfully not to the extent that you seemed to experience.

    Getting back active was a challenge but 3 weeks on I’m glad I made the effort. I started small and gradually ramped it up. I suggest you do the same but as you seem to have lost your cycling mojo* why don’t you try something different for a while. Due to both Covid and snow I was unable to get out on the bike much and did a lot of walking. Walking is great for many reasons (I wrote a post about it so won’t repeat it here) but mainly that you can mix it up and gradually increase the intensity. I went from barely walking 2km on January 14th to walking 14km yesterday with a 3kg pack. I’ve now started walking with 4.5kg which is just over 5% of bodyweight. Best of all walking is something you can do with your wonderful wife and spend some time with each other.

    What I’m saying I guess is don’t give up. You came back from near death last year and you can beat this again and it’s a much easier physical challenge than before.

    *keep an eye on your mental health. It sounds like you have symptoms of depression which is common after an illness like Covid especially when you add in the fatigue. It’s natural but don’t let it take hold of you. Another good reason to go walking, fresh air and Vitamin D will really help you.

    Get well soon my friend 💪

  2. I know the trite thing to say is “well, you’ve bounced back from worse things” but we’re all human, and the cumulative effect of all this can be a grind. But as IC says above, you can beat this. You will.

  3. I love that everyone who commented is a virtual who’s who of my online friends, on your post.

    I would walk or jog, and by jog, I mean J.O.G. slow is the key. The only thing I hate more than walking is jogging. I’d be back on a bike with a smile on my face in… carry the one… 18 hours or so.

    I hope you find what you need to be happy, my friend. That’s all that’s important.

    Now I’m going to climb on the hamster wheel.

  4. It doesn’t happen often that I read a post and everything I was going to say in reply has already been said. As Jim says, there is a strong link to a self-selected and like-minded online community here.
    Resist the pressure to get back on the bike too early and see if you can find something else to enjoy and to keep appropriately active – walking and running are obvious ones – or pilates?
    All the very best for your full, and rapid, recovery.

    1. Omil, I truly appreciate your comments. I have had a good, restful weekend and feeling much better. I am a bit embarrassed at my whining, but I appreciate those who encouraged me and took the time.

      1. Never call it whining. You felt bad, spoke about it and now you feel better. We have a massive problem in Ireland with male suicide, especially young men. If men spoke more here about how they feel it would go a long way towards improving the mental health of everyone. There’s a charity event here every year called “Cycle Against Suicide”. Their motto is “It’s OK not to feel OK”. Glad you are feeling better though 👌

  5. Whenever I think how crap my life may be over the last year, I see or hear of situations far worse than my own. And then feel real bad that I could even conceive that I could ever be struggling when others are have it way worse. You’re brave and strong and there’s no hurry. Not having been in your situation, I wouldn’t know what to do but as others have said, enjoy something else for a while-you have plenty of time for the passion to come back

  6. When you do get back on the bike — try to pick a ride with a big tail wind on the way home. Nothing like a 10 mph tailwind to make you feel like riding again.

  7. Keep cycling, but make 1 week of every 4 a recovery week. That means nothing but short easy spins the whole week. I’ve done them for years in season and they really help refresh and adjust you.

  8. I have had some friends and colleagues who caught Covid and for each one of them, the effects were very different. The only similar experience that they shared was the length of time it took them to recover. Covid has left many people coping with the after effects. I would say take your time and listen to your body. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t do it. However, to get back into the swing of things I would say do it little by little; allowing time for your body to adjust. You’ll get there – stay safe 🙂

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