What the bloody hell are you waiting for man?
I don't know what I am waiting for. 11 months out of surgery, I have even been given the all-clear to 'try and ride' by my surgeon, caveated by an obvious sensitivity to falling off and a sensible reliance on pain as a guide. The surgery, within its terms has gone well. It is too early to say if there is any meaningful fusion between T12-L2, even so the nascent conditions for fusion seem to exist. And yet I still hesitate. Friends and clients touchingly enquire, nudge and cajole. It is hard to understand why are after six-and-a-half years I am not exploding with pent up energy and passion for riding and training. I guess have lived vicariously through friends and clients adventures and goals for so long now that I am simply out the habit of riding myself. There it is. I actively mourned cycling after the accident for about three years. I sustained the dream of riding again right the way through the first surgery in September 2013. But then 2014 ironically became the most medicalised year of the entire process, as I dealt with a post-surgical infection. The culmination was the removal of some of my lymph nodes from my chest, a few days before xmas 2014/15. Unpleasant itself, but importantly the histology showed a deep lung infection and a post surgical auto-immune condition. My passion for cycling atrophied and withered somewhere between this diagnosis and the news that the spine surgery itself had failed in Spring 2015.
It all starts with a Cyclefit. And peer pressure.
Jules and Barna keep nagging. They implore me on a daily basis to have a Cyclefit, find out my FTP, get out and ride. They have set me up a Landrace bike that is mysteriously close to my perfect size and geometry. The stars are aligning whichever end of the telescope I am looking down - to mix my astrological metaphors.So recently I squeezed into the lycra that was mysteriously left draped over my chair, turned the clock back to October 9th 2011, and sauntered into Studio One with Fabian Cancellara's fitter of choice - our very own Jules. And of course I really enjoyed the whole process from the other chair/saddle. It is intrinsically wonderful to be the centre of attention for a couple of hours, with an experienced and insightful technician. Jules noted immediately that the instability around L1 had largely gone. The last time I tried riding in Mallorca a few years ago, on one of our training camps, my osteopath, Alex Fugallo bound me up like a Geisha Girl, with rolls and rolls of kinesio tape. Dosed to the max on pain control, I slowly climbed Sa Colobra, feeling like an imposter, but the movement at the fractured and deteriorating level apparently looked as horrific as it felt. Nobody wanted to ride behind me, except Alex, who dispassionately made notes for the day that he knew he would follow me through surgery (he was there for the whole seven hours May 5th 2017 - More)