Adventure: The Slow Climb Out

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Chronic illness is no joke. So you could look at today’s little journey in one of two ways. I’ve still got a long way to go. Or, I’m doing okay. Roughly two months ago I did a double ride over one weekend. Thirty miles on Saturday and thirty miles on Sunday, a routine weekend for me. But something bad happened on that Sunday ride. I hit the wall in a big way.

Now, I’ve hit the wall numerous times during athletic outings, some worse than others, but this particular wall encounter was very different. It came on hard and fast and it never went away. So, over the past two months, I’ve been running on reserve power. Like a submarine with the engines off, coasting as much as possible. No cycling, no running, sparse moments of walking and at times barely able to perform a basic stretching routine.

I’ve also changed up my diet, spent more time sleeping and have tried to manage my symptoms as best as possible. Most nights I’m asleep by 10PM. I’ve discontinued my 5 AM reading schedule in exchange for trying to sleep as late as possible. (6-7AM) And even with these accommodations, I’ve barely been functional at times.

I restarted my IV treatments this week as well, so my arms have needle tracks and bruises, which is always good for stare or two from strangers when I remove my jacket.

Last night I decided to get on my bike regardless of consequence. I had a Plan A and a Plan B. I also ate more than normal before getting on the bike. I did just over 30 miles, which might seem like a lot but it really isn’t. Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time on a bike can do 30. I rode slowly and lacked the normal power but I got through it. Same climbs, same straights.

And now, I actually feel pretty good. And for this, I feel fortunate. I’ve got my theories as to what triggered this latest episode. I’ve learned a lot about my body and brain over the past six years, but there is still plenty of mystery there as well.

If you are healthy, get out there. And if you are not, test the water and best of luck.

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