Friday, March 02, 2007

Still can't ride

Date: March 2
Mileage: 1.1
March mileage: 1.1
Temperature upon departure: 11

I tried. I tried.

The bike box was covered in several inches of snow by the time I finally dragged it into the house and sliced it open. I went to work restoring Snaux bike from a duct-tape-covered mass of aluminum and cables to something that might move forward again. But I had to make sure.

Juneau was in the midst of a "blizzard warning," but it seemed pretty tame ... about nine inches of new snow and only light powder falling at the time. Most of the streets weren't yet plowed, so I couldn't just coast and spin easy for a while. I had to set right into the crank, and the knee pain came instantly. I winced through it for a about a half mile, thinking that my knee was probably just stiff and needed to loosen up. But it just became worse. Eventually, my leg started involuntarily jumping off the pedals. If I had pedal cages, I probably would have just let it dangle there. But I needed the leg's dead weight just to keep the crank turning, and the angle of the up-stroke of was too much. I got off the bike and pushed it home.

As I was carrying my bike down the stairs, it somehow slipped out of my hands, bounced a few times and dropped into the yard. I'm not really sure what happened then. I lost it, a little bit. I plopped down beside it and had my own private temper tantrum, right there in the snow, swiping up clouds of cheek-stinging powder and everything. After that humiliating little pity party subsided, I propped up the bike and got out my camera to document the meltdown. I'm not sure why I did that, either. I'm still really embarrassed about it. Why am I writing about it? But it seems important to remember the low points. And today was definitely a low point.

I can't say why I became so consumed with frustration. I'm not exactly suffering, and there are people out there - like Lynda, who broke her collarbone in a mountain bike race on Feb. 17 - who obviously have it so much worse. But I guess that, as with any injury, there is always a lingering thought that "this knee is never going to work again." It's easy to push the thought in the back of my mind when I have an inexplicable little injury with no known origin and no real reason to exist. I can even tell myself that it's all in my head. But when that thought of permanent disability comes raring back ... no amount of denial can hold it off. And there I am, sitting in the snow, clenching my mittens so tight that my fingers hurt and thinking, "It's not supposed to happen like this. Not here. Not now."

I know. So much melodrama. I'm usually even-tempered, but every once in a while I revert back to the maturity of a 16-year-old. It's a good emotional release. I'll be OK. I promise. I even went a short snowshoe hike after that. With all of the new, deep snow, I really worked my calves without putting much pressure on my knee.

I have an appointment at a sports medicine clinic on Tuesday. I look forward to finding out that it really is nothing, that it's all in my head, and that I'm just acting like a toddler.