Injuries and Opportunities

Injuries, whatever the nastiness, suck, we all know that. The one I have at the moment, really sucks. To paraphrase, plagiarise (and sanitise) a quote from the Thick of It – “It sucks **** so deep your appendix is wearing the bell-end as a little hat.”

injury_blog4

I’m quite a positive type. My many and varied run-ins with certain governmental tax organisations have made me so – the alternative is a life of sobbing into my pillow in a darkened decreasingly smaller room.

But tearing my calf tested my patience to the limit and 10 weeks on I was struggling to find any upside.

And then I rode a bike.

I’m not a complete philistine when it comes to bikes. I have, as most people probably do, a number of them mouldering in the back of the shed. But I needed something low-impact that would reverse the pounds that were piling on now I wasn’t exercising and wasn’t swimming.

I’ve always had a deep loathing for swimming. I was taught the bare essentials so that, while I won’t drown, I certainly would go anywhere particularly fast or with any degree of grace. A few weeks into the injury – and before the donation of a road bike – I did a few weeks of swimming at my local pool. Each time I would haul myself out, thoroughly depressed as the octogenarians smiled winningly at my back. If to be beaten by a girl in a race is to be “chicked” then length after length I was “oaped” by men and women sedately breast-stroking their way through the chlorine infested waters while I sputtered and spluttered my way behind them.

The only good thing I can find to say about swimming is that you don’t get sweaty. Everything else is a negative.

Back to the bike. I was getting a bit desperate to get outside and get exercising. My brother is a bit of a triathlete (no oaping for him) and as is the way he had a number of bikes he’s used in the couple of years he’s been racing. He very kindly lent me his first bike, with a grin.

It is, I’m sure a perfectly serviceable road bike. It’s definitely got the skinniest tyres I’ve ever seen on a supposedly roadworthy machine. But the weight! I have been lucky enough to photograph Sir Chris Hoy when he was at the Nissan Sunderland plant before he started racing GT cars and, naturally, he brought along a range of bikes he had designed for Evans Cycles. Those ones I could pick up with a finger, my new juggernaut took both hands to get off the ground. Still beggars can’t be choosers and off I went on my first ride.

I don’t have any cycling kit so cobbled together running tights (with compression shorts underneath as some kind of padding), long-sleeved running shirt with my windshell over the top. My son’s borrowed helmet – with beanie underneath – and a pair of climbing gloves completed the outfit. I looked great.

I have since bought myself a proper top. Though going out in an Etixx-Quickstep team shirt (homage to Mark Cavendish) rather than the plethora of Team Sky ones is a bit of a bold move.

injury_blog1

I’ve always thought cycling was a bit of a cop-out. You can rest whenever, you want, exert no effort going downhill and it is the definition on an “easy ride”. 20 miles later and back home I could hardly get off and John Wayne’d my way inside. The Chiltern Hills (which I live on top of) had struck again. I’ve pretty much mastered the hills on two feet but two wheels means a whole lot of different and as yet underused muscles. Grudging respect to you proper cyclists out there

So while being injured is a proper pain in the calf, on a positive note it has opened up a new world of pot-holes, storm drains, idiot drivers and screaming quads.

Oh, and news just in, as I write this I’ve received an email that I’m on the shortlist for the Ashmei Ambassadors Day this coming Saturday.

Time to zip up the man suit and get competitive!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s