Today I marked another couple of milestones.
The first was (finally) riding with my cycling bestie, Mel. It’s been just under three months since we’ve ridden together and I have missed our training sessions dreadfully. I’m sure I’ve had an internal countdown clock ticking with “one day closer to riding with Mel again!” We met at Nundah after a false start – Mel got a flat and I slept through my alarm (not a good look for a committed athlete!). Mel and I met when we were both riding for KBR and quickly discovered a solid friendship when we both toured Tassie last year and Mel jumped in for Mr Lucy who couldn’t go due to work commitments. As we got to know each other, we discovered that we both have the same passion and commitment towards our training – there has been many a time when I have been glad Mel has been around as I’ve wanted to wuss out of an effort and pull up stumps – and hopefully I’ve provided the a “no wussing” out clause for her either. Regardless, she knows I’m a real expert when it comes to yelling at her to “keep going”! I know she’s a keeper as I don’t think in the eighteen months or so I’ve known her that we’ve blown off training once – and knowing that we are both invested in our various goals has made for an excellent friendship both on and off the bike.
We are both training for different purposes – Mel is focused on the track this year and I’m working on building a good base level of fitness post op but that doesn’t seem to matter – we just get stuck in there and do it.
Today Mel had ten minute efforts to complete and I was able to join her for the warm up, recoveries and cool down and immediately I noticed that as we started, any aimlessness I had felt about riding around Nundah quickly disappeared. I was furiously focusing on maintaining a decent cadence, staying relaxed and noticing muscles that had been asleep for a few months starting to wake up. It suddenly felt like I was training and wow, did that feel good! Whilst Mel did her efforts, I did one lap harder with one lap recovery – that felt rusty but with each lap I did, I started to feel better and stronger and whilst I was internally lamenting my lack of fitness, there was that small voice whispering, “new normal, new normal”. We finished the session with a good chat and several laughs and I went home feeling good – if you’re reading this Mel, “it’s great to be back!”.
Then it was time to prepare for my first foray back into group fitness for several months. I agreed a month ago to cover some classes for my mate Leesa and today’s class was numero uno. I put my playlist together and rocked up at the gym as if I’d never missed a day. I was expecting to be nervous, and surprisingly, the whole teaching thing was ….like riding a bike! I hadn’t forgotten how to do it and if anything felt humbled to have all of these lovely participants to coach. I decided there and then that because I had the heart to come back and do it, that my fitness and confidence level will follow and that was that. I am back to my Pro Cycling class tomorrow and looking forward to that, especially now that I’ve nailed today.
Seems like although the recovery is long with this ham-on-the-bone, it’s not all bad!