Inside the Mind of an Invalid Biker

"You're getting slower."

It started the third day after I wrecked my knee. It's still going strong today, and probably won't shut up until I lose my fear of pedaling more than twenty minutes at a time.

"You're getting slower."

The voice has no need to be reasonable. By the time you've reach this level of paranoia, quelling it with reality is utterly impossible. Who cares how many professional cyclists have managed to break collarbones, miss weeks of the season and come back to success -- the voice has me convinced that my mountain bike season is going up in flames, before my very eyes, as I sit here on my seventh straight day of doing nothing.

"You're getting slower."

My body is adjusting to the new, sedentary lifestyle of having a bad knee. I used to ride to work, now I take the subway. I used to need breakfast. Now I can eat nothing until 1 PM -- my metabolism's given up being ready to ride at a moment's notice. You don't burn many calories sitting at a desk, no matter how much coffee you drink or websites you program.

"You're getting slower."

The Gap Ride was this weekend. I drove the sag wagon. I watched other people train. It was great. The voice wouldn't shut up.

Tomorrow I'm gonna try riding again. Twenty minutes to work, twenty back. Easy as pie. Maybe if I focus on that, I can get the gnawing voice to JUST. SHUT. UP. for a bit.

Yeah.

24 hours to go. Just focus on that...

...

"What if it isn't better?"

Aw, fuck.
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