In Vino Veritas: I Fucking Rocked It

I had wanted to post this on Monday morning, having written it Sunday morning, but was having issues with getting footnoting working with this template of mine. And since the footnotes are where all the “funny” is in this posting, I wanted them working. Here you go! Finally.

It’s 5:05am. I’m not really drunk anymore, but with any luck I’ll be tipsy in a few. 1 This is a mighty big sunrise glass of wine I’ve poured, and there’s another to go.

Insomnia. Staring at a black ceiling. Mind whirling in a million directions — boys and summer and bikes and money and–and–and– 2

Then I bounded from bed with a “fuck it” attitude and cracked on some cleaning. That was at 4:20 or so. I’ve accomplished a lot. 3

Which is good. Because I like to feel as smug as I can when I can, and today I’m gonna feel real fuckin’ smug.

Last night was huge for me. Monster. Ginormous. I had the two best hours I’ve had in seven months. I got on my bike and went.

Here’s where you need to realize just how much I feel like my life was strangled out of me with my back injury. I’ve been unable to walk more than four or five blocks without straining my back, for MONTHS.

There were six weeks of hellish winter that just devastated me. I’ve had no scooter. I have no car, few of my friends do. Buses are inconvenient to say the least for injured folk. I’ve had nothing but a frustrating, difficult time of even trying to BALANCE life, let alone have one, for seven months.

I’ve never been this injured, this long. I’ve only done cardio about five times since last September. Five! I’m doing some crazy fuckin’ plyometrics, and on a daily basis, and I’m stronger, more toned, and more balanced than I’ve probably ever been… but I’ve done no cardio, for more than half a year.4

The head game with this injury is the hardest game I’ve ever played. Not letting it beat me? What a struggle that was. Especially when I’d slowly amped up the cycling, then cycled over the big-ass hills to work in February… and blew my back again. So, I went back at it, slowly and methodically, small rides only and big rehab blocks in between with intense focus on form and repetitions.

And last night was the Ascent Test again.

I cycled from home on the south side of Vancouver up Little Mountain. It’s not monstrous. “Little” was the first clue, right? But from where I live, that’s 7K of steady, continuous incline, with some reasonably steep stretches. Most importantly, it’s an ascent I know well, important for benchmarking where one is on the rehab path.

I did most of that ascent for work three or more times a week last year as I was racking up my 150km or so of cycling on a weekly basis, but it never got easier. It was always, always hard to some degree. Toward fall, it was less hard, but I still crested after 4km of hills winded of breath.

Last night? I felt strong, man. The whole way. Never did my breathing pose issues. For an asthmatic pot-smoker,5 hey, man. Killed it. Some issues with the back, but nothing I didn’t expect. That’s rehab for you. It ain’t symptom-free, but they were the right kind of symptoms. 6

I got to the top of 7k with all my wind intact. I was in control. I geared up for the last of the ascent even, the steepest stretch. I didn’t get to the top and slump over all “Whew! I did it! GASP.” I was doin’ donuts with a smirk on my face. I hung out for a while. Took some photos. But didn’t have to sit and rest, or stretch, not at all. Which I was fully prepared to, I mean, hey, I’m just getting back into it, right?

That’s it, man. That’s the change I’ve been waiting for. I worked SO GODDAMNED HARD last year, and it just never really got as much easier as I’d expected. Definitely a little easier, but… I was still the fat girl on the bike. I’d be dyin’ on some hills. Pride took leave of me, and often.

Now I’m the fit girl on the bike. I got there. With pride intact. I made that hill my bitch, I did it in my BEST time ever 7, and I felt incredible.

Most importantly? I felt free.

Free after a winter of being almost entirely imprisoned by my life. Free after reaching, in October, what was the lowest, most despondent I’ve ever felt situationally. Feeling so very low. 8

To high. Oh, so very high. And free. And powerful. And back in charge.

I have my life back again. On my terms. I won. YEAH, baby.

It’s stupid, this excitement of mine, for just “cycling”, right? Well, then you just don’t get it.

And now I have yet another glass of wine to drink. A goblet and jammies for watching a spring sunrise in my hammock. A fucking great way to do insomnia, no? A sunrise on what I’m defining as the first day of a whole fantastic new part of my life.

I’ll call this my “Rocking It” phase. Oh, you have no idea.

Bring it, cosmos.9

1Uh, mission considerably accomplished. Schwing.
2 “Sex” was an obvious mental distraction. No need to mention the obvious though, right? Or provide details? Those dirty thoughts don’t interest you at all. Thank god I have a high-brow audience.
3 Dishes. Bathroom garbage. Got drunk. Schwing.

4 This is probably a great time to mention that, even as an asthmatic pot-smoker, I’ve not had to use an inhaler in a year. I did get sick last summer, the only time in almost two years, but it was allergies to milk that caused that. So… should I say “formerly asthmatic”, then? :)
5 Oh, my god. No cardio? That’s bad. Sexually frustrated AND no cardio? You’re fucking lucky I didn’t end up in a bell-tower with a rifle and a spotting scope. “Bonus points for ladies in leopard print.” ZOOM. ZING! [SCREAMING] Thank GOD I can cycle again. Civic welfare depends on it. This is one girl in serious need of outlets, honey.
6 If it doesn’t change the nature of your pain, it probably ain’t a problem. Focus on form when you feel the twinges. Form is a powerful thing. For me, it’s everything. Without it, pain. With it, strength.
7 After half-a-year cardio-free! Without pushing myself at all! I cannot convey to you how much better I executed that ride, technically speaking, than I’ve ever done before. I had fantastic form. It made a world of difference.
8 “Low.” That about sums up the experience of spending an entire month lying on a hardwood floor hopped outta my mind on painkillers, knowing a cockroach infestation was booming about 15 feet away in the kitchen. Yeah. I was feeling LOW.
9That I got my scooter back — working better than it has ever worked in the five years I’ve owned it — on Wednesday, well, that’s just icing on the freedom cake. And, no, despite the “Freedom” anthem ringing through here, this posting was not sponsored in part by George W. Bush.9
10And that concludes our broadcast.