I was loping through tall grass on a fading forest road when it occurred to me what I miss most about cycling. I'd been pondering this since I walked past my mountain bike with its sad deflated tires that haven't been touched since January, yelled at my fingers while fumbling with the laces of my running shoes, and stepped outside into wind-blast of grass pollen and heat to go for a run that I felt strangely not enthused about, at all. I say strangely because nine days passed after my surgery before I felt stable and pain-free enough to venture back to trails, and I thought I'd be more excited about it.
The old forest road largely petered out, but I did run into some no-trespassing signs, so I turned around. I hadn't planned to climb all the way to the peak, fearing a scramble, but upon return from my "adventure," I changed my mind. Tentatively placing my stiff, weak fingers around holds — but refusing to put any weight on them — I managed to gain the summit. Atop that rocky outcropping were incredible views of every space I've explored so far, and so many more I haven't. I may be down sometimes, but I'm still grateful. Every day.