I still do ride. Though, certainly not at the level I had attained over the years, or at the level I was at a month or so ago. You see, I had taken a little break after the one day races of Nationals, Winston-Salem, and Philly. If you’ve read my post about coming into those hot, I was ready to race and win. If not win, be a factor in them, and I believe that was the case. As you’ll see in the TrainingPeaks screenshot, it’s like I fell of the face of the earth in regards to fitness. Why? Well, you’ll see a steady progression of upward trend, building, building, building. When I am home here, i have a real good sense of what it takes to break down and build up to that stimulus. Plus, with me having the education and background I do, I do a lot of things that are available to me ( and everyone else ), that are often left off the table as a benefit for recovery. That’s what this site is for, is to plant seeds and educate on what and how things can be implemented in your life to make the most out of it. wether that is your fitness, or better yet your overall health. Mind, body, and spirit.
To cut to the point, I’ve not had any mental stress in the last years. I was blessed to have set up my days, weeks, months in a setting that allowed me to get the most out of myself and to give to my patients at the office. That laid the foundation for the fitness capacity that you can see I’ve attained. Now, because i’ve had no mental stress for years, I was blind sided by some, and it was quantifiably significant how I reacted. This is why in my previous post, regarding I am not my fitness, or my body, or my results, I had to let go of all that because I simply could not achieve it. ( in the above chart, if you're not familiar with it, it's called the Performance Management Chart. Through TrainingPeaks you can watch how you're getting on with racing and training and adjust your outputs accordingly to increase your fitness, or alternatively rest up. The Blue line is your base fitness levels, and you can see a regular uptrend, then a significant drop. Also, the Pink line is the output you're doing. For instance your workouts, training, racing, etc. You can also see a subsequent drop off the face of the earth what my body would let me do. And last, the yellow line simulates your fatigue from the given training. So, to have fatigue higher than an output, that is not good for performance )
There is only so much stress one can take. Mental, Physical, and Chemical. So, Ive been blessed to have the ability and means to minimize chemical stresses in foods, water, air, etc. And also the environment to have virtually no mental stress. So therefore, I can handle a massive amount of physical demand because the others are low. In addition to understanding and implementing things like chiropractic, massage, Physical therapy, etc. to help in aid recovery and adaptation. So, when the mental and emotional stress came, the level of physical stress I was used to was unattainable to continue. Imagine throwing someone into a marathon with zero training or ability to handle it, they would surely pound themselves into sure injury and would need a lot of recovery physically. In a similar sense, imagine a ton of mental stress out of nowhere without the tools or tolerance, while trying to maintain the highest level of fitness you’ve achieved to date. Yeah, it was gone. The demand of the mental stress was far greater than what I could take, and to try and race Cascade Cycling Classic and Tour of Utah at that level, i was merely hanging on. And that was it.
As I regularly see patients, I talk to them about the demands they place on themselves, and to look for that balance of stress. If one goes up, see if you could lower another. And vice versa, if one goes low, could you now add more training? But for how long? what do you already delegate energy and metabolism to? Are you constantly getting sick just as you think you;ll be fit and fast? Look at your day, week, month and see how much you’ve gotten used to in responsibility and demands. Remember the first day or week, or month that was that busy? Yeah, no different amount of energy to do it, just tolerant of it now. Same with physical ability. Think of your fist 2, 3, 4, 5 hour ride. How messed up were you? how long to recover? now those are normal, but remember its’ the same amount of energy to do them, if not more! be smart in the demands you place on yourself and expectations. be realistic with what you can and cannot achieve, and don’t be hard on yourself when you look at how much you already have on your plate.
In addition, mostly I am working with straight musculoskeletal issues. And as we work to help manage and balance those, occasionally there may be some leftover mental stress and tension that lingers around affecting their body. In my particular case, it was like i could not fit on my bike properly. Almost as though it was a different bike, or someone shifted the position. The mental stress created tension and torsion in my body in reaction. And so like I work with patients, I think it's necessary to work out the symptoms and provide relief. But ultimately we should look to what the underlying and core problem is. Otherwise It will KEEP COMING UP until you learn it. You'll keep having low back issues if you just use a Chiropractic adjustment to get relief. Rather than using that adjustment to restore motion in the joint, gain access back to that ROM and incorporate movement patterns to keep those tissues active. ultimately building their strength up to a level that is comparable to the other areas of the body that have exceeded it. THEN continuing to understand what got you in a hole in the first place, and what got you out. Remembering to continue to implement those things and not doing the same things over and over expecting a different result. In similar respect, what I've learned here and have begun to implement, is a part of my routine and life now, so that it won't happen again.
SO, I do still ride, and I’m trying to sort out that foundation to build back upon and get to where i’ve never been before. Why? what does it really matter ? Well, I believe I’m called to be doing these things, and to be sharing my experience with you, so to have been there and done that it lends a lot of understanding and credibility to what I have to say. my wisdom , knowledge and guidance. Also, I know it's not really up to me how long I will continue to share these experiences, as we all know it could be up to someone behind the wheel thinking sending a text or checking their instagram is more important, and it's over for me. Or I'll be called to serve in another sense, but until then, I'll do it here to the best I can. Thank you.