Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Cure-All for the Hypochondriac

It appears that I'm guilty as charged: hypochondriac. Twice in one week, no less.

On Thursday of last week, I was reaching out to lift my bike out of the back of my XTerra and I tweaked my back. At least tweaked is what I thought at first. Two hours later I was dreading walking to the coffee pot at work due to the severe pain. Thursday night I barely slept because every time I moved I woke up.

Friday was a little better, but I was extremely doubtful that I'd be able to get into TT position and put out any kind of power for Saturday's time trial in Juliette. Saturday morning things felt OK. After 45 minutes on the trainer, I loosened up. The back didn't bother me much during the race. I had sort of been cured by the bike, I guess.

Sunday morning I performed the ultimate stupid move. I picked up a big 50-pound potted plant and carried it to the truck (a task I would have thought impossible 48 hours prior). It didn't hurt much at first. But throughout the day it got worse. By Monday morning it was worse than the prior Thursday morning. By Tuesday morning it was a little better. A painful, short, easy ride Monday afternoon confirmed that Tuesday Night Worlds was probably out of the question for this week.

Arriving at TNW I still thought I'd have to tool around with a slower group. But with eight teammates there, I had to at least start out with the group, right? As I rode, my back started to loosen a bit. As the effort increased, the pain did not, so I kept riding - staying seated and maintaining a high cadence to minimize torque, both of which seemed to help minimize what by then was only minor discomfort. By the end of the ride only a hint of soreness remained. My back felt better than it had since Saturday.

So I confess to being a hypochondriac regarding my back, I guess. I really did think I couldn't ride both times. And both times I was cured by the bike.

Ron Hill doled out a little nugget of his aged wisdom as we started out on Tuesday. When I said I didn't want to ride hard enough to mess up my back, he said, "It's hard to mess anything up on the bike." Wisdom - and truth.

So add "bad back" to the long list of mental and physical ills that can be cured by the bicycle. But it would still be a good idea to avoid large flower pots.