I don't know about you, but cycling, for me, is kind of the last bastion of my young-man-invincibility phase. That lasted 30-some years. My bulletproofness, incredible athletic talent that would allow me walk-on to any pro sports franchise (if I "really" wanted to) and make the team, and my amazing dance moves have all crashed and burned in distinct and irrefutable instances. And yet in my late 40's, I've somehow clung to the notion that I can do as much of anything that I want on a bike.
Last week was apparently about the universe correcting my misconception.
My knees are a mess from different injuries and surgeries and while I can't run or ski or a bunch of other stuff, I've always been sure that I can do as much knee-friendly riding as I want and that in fact, the more the better. My knee surgeon even had a term for it: "work hardening". He stole that term from the materials science world and he should have left it alone. Over the last several days, I "work hardened" my knees into a bad place. I'm off the bike for I'm not sure how long and I've ended the last few days with the wonderfully cool relief of ice packs.
I'm not implying in any way that my surgeon is to blame. I needed to listen to my body and instead, I decided that a dumb, self-imposed goal of seven carless days was more important. Two-a-days of stop-and-go urban riding hammers your knees and I was feeling the effects bigtime after the first three or four days and yet I was determined to power through and in fact on the last day, stubbornly refused to use the bus for any part of my travels.
If past experience from this similar condition is any indication, I think I'll recover, but it will take a while. Which hopefully is time well spent modifying my ideas of what I should be doing and how often. Which sucks, but is what it is. I hereby refute every last ounce of invincibility. "Getting by" is a hard pill to swallow, but on the positive side, I think you can get by at some pretty high performance levels. It's okay to be real.
In the meantime, I've consoled and distracted myself with another rack project. Except that the little bastard has caused me more grief and rework than any rack I've built so far. It is yet to be determined whether I will learn a hard lesson from this rack, or it from me.