No Sprain No Gain

I limped into my doctor’s office on Monday after Sunday’s ride and he looked at me with that look, like what have you gone and done now. I responded defensively, “All my friends that don’t ride are dead so no sprain no gain.” Of course he then reminded me I was there for my torn shoulder, damaged neck, injured back, sore hip and swollen knee and that the sprained ankle was taking it up a whole notch.

So besides a few injures that I got getting to here; I never thought I would live this long and neither did anyone else that knew me, but I have made it and now I am sixty, hard bodied, ride every second day or more, enjoy a passionate relationship with my partner (she is on this journey with me) and work all day every day on interesting projects, some long term like the food cooperative or something brand new like Fraser River Bike Tours.

Back to Sunday’s ride. Things were going really well. On our ride up to Central Park we handed out dozens of brochures about our opening on June 4/2011.Then halfway around Central Park as I was crossing a creek on some rocks my front tire slipped off a rock. I kicked out of my clip ons, dropped my bike and landed on my feet on two big rocks. Well one rock was a foot and a half lower that the other so my right foot landed pretty hard on that lower rock. Then I did a little dance, like that one you do when you legs get tangled up in your pants when your trying to put them on in the morning before ending precariously balanced over a pool in the creek. Full immersion was eminent.

I had just broken (crushed would be more accurate) that same ankle when I was a part time fish-monger fours years before by falling off a five ton truck and landing on my heel. Now the same ankle was demanding my complete attention as I dragged my bike out of the creek and limped over to Debbie. She had that look on her face to, are you kidding me, a week before we open the new business look. The shock of landing on the rock was perfectly transferred into my foot through my rigid steel cleated clip-on cycling shoe. I still had to ride 12.5 km home, thankfully it was mostly downhill, so I knew that I had to keep the shoe on or I won’t get it back on. I knew to keep moving or it will freeze up but the good news was I knew what a broken ankle felt like and I knew this was just a nasty sprain and that after the bruising goes away and the swelling goes down I will be walking just fine. I rode home and will keep riding, with maybe missing only two riding days before I will be ready to give it.

So don’t worry about a crash here or a fall there because its going to happen sooner or later if you’re riding hard and pushing it to get a great workout. Just make sure you wear your helmet, that spandex can save you a lot of road rash issues and that gloves can really make a difference on your hands. Almost everything else will heal except head injuries, so make sure your helmet is properly adjusted and CSA approved. Cool helmets are sometime really toys and not approved for cycling, so check the label.

You are much better off being in shape, good heart and lungs with an occasion sprain or even a break or two than being sedentary, overweight, stressed out and ready to pop. My doctor says I will die in perfect health on my bike under a bus with a smile on my face. What can I say!

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