Friday, January 6, 2012

No Woes

Happy New Year, friends. I have really enjoyed my time with family and some of you and I hope you all have enjoyed this crazy time of year as well. I do think there is a lot in store for this up coming year, but maybe that's just the positive thoughts I have seeping through my fingers on to this screen talking. Anyway, I figure I might as well focus on the positives; too difficult not to.

Now, fortunately, there is no tragic event happening in my life that prompts me to be talking this way, but there is a rather bothersome annoyance that I am having to deal with. Surely you've all heard me discuss my foot/ankle situation before. At this point, it's still no different. I really do appreciate the well-wishes and suggestions on how to mend this ailment, but methinks time will have to be my mender. I have just come back from an appointment with a foot/ankle-specific doctor and we have diagnosed my condition and located the guilty party.

I have something called neuritis effecting the sural nerve in my right foot. Neuritis, in short (as I understand it), is a change in the state of the nerves that results in weakness, loss of reflexes, or changes in sensation. Causes and symptoms vary. Skipping to my situation specifically, the neuritis in my right foot was most likely caused by an injury at work (jumping down from a shelf that was a little too high for me to be jumping down from) and the symptoms, of course, are an excruciating stabbing pain on the top of my foot close to my smaller toes when any pressure is applied under my outside, right ankle. That's pretty much the best way that I can explain it for you all. I am not exaggerating when I say "excruciating." It is incredible how debilitating this can be considering that nothing of this magnitude has ever hit me before. As you know I have changed my shoe (the only pair I can wear) for work so I can still do all that I need to there, but you all know that's not what I'm worried about with this neuritis.

As it goes, I am still unable to ride my bike as I want to. Not being able to do something that I am so very passionate about is a certain blow. Not being able to ride is annoying, but allow me to explain, for those that may not know, how much of a blow this is to me. Not being able to ride means not being able to train. Not being able to train, means not only a setback to my racing schedule, but also my ability, my strength, my goals for the season, my aspirations for the sport overall (more on that in a sec), and my love of being able to push myself beyond words I can figure to say here. Cycling as a developmental sport is not one that a serious participator can take lightly if they are looking to continue success. I realized a lot about what I need be doing last season in order for me to stay competitive. In order to stay competitive, (or even be able to compete) I need to be able to train. It's a constant thing. Consistency is huge! I can feel my legs getting weaker. I can feel my body losing ground. I can feel myself getting dropped in every race I enter next year. At the level that I hope to compete at... I am being set back not only for this year, but years to come.. I am losing miles, hours, time, and everything I want to have to continue to build upon to be better and to win. When I think about how weak my legs must be getting, all this time lost... I feel a physical pain in my body. This means a lot to me. That is what this silly neuritis is costing me and this paragraph makes me want to puke.

But I'm not gong to puke. I might have to get an MRI. I might have to get poked with needles to shock my nerves. I might just decide to chop off my foot and call it a day (like someone seems to consider as the only rational solution...).

But let's get real here. Life isn't so bad. Yes, I am still able to work, and yes, I am surviving. This will eventually go away. Sure, it's frustrating that a doctor can't open me up - slip the nerve to a place where it won't be irritated - sow me back up - and say it's fixed. Sure it's frustrating to not know when this may actually go away. That's all well and annoying, but that's not worth me worrying about.

I will get back to my love of cycling (the way I love to do it) eventually and you know what!?! I decided that even though I couldn't train as I'd love to on a beautifully unexpected 60 degree day in January, I would ride the best way that I could.
Never taken for granted.
This is one of the things that made me smile today!
Sally is one that made me smile too!
It was a short ride, but I needed it. Cycling has taught me to be able to take everything that happens to me in the immediate physical world as well as emotionally as they happen; as life happens - as life goes on - because life does go on. I cannot waste time feeling sorry for myself, wallowing in woes, or worry about anything that I cannot control. I have learned to appreciate the successes, while taking the unexpected (good or not so good) and burdens of life with the knowledge that I am working for the best outcome and that eventually I will be better as I choose to be. Having time off the bike has allowed me to discover a few more passions and certain people that mean a lot to me. Life is busy for me and I want to keep it that way. I'm still a Colombian!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and for teammates, competitors, and cyclists alike, I hope you all are having a successful, productive offseason and are looking forward to making the most of you and your bike this 2012 season. I'll be out there eventually. Don't allow me to make any excuses.
Again, thanks for reading, all.


  1. ah hi. Today I was diagnosed with neuritis, I'm not sure specifically what caused it. I remember sitting on the couch and feeling a little spark of pain in my foot when I moved, it has hurt ever since. I finally got it looked at today and learned what was causing my pain. I wanted to read more about it because the doctor didn't give me a great explanation beyond saying my nerve is inflamed...the things I read kind of scared me! I don't know why. But I feel the smallest bit better after reading the post and trying to stay positive.

    1. Oh wow! Well, firstly I am sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed with this ailment. Do know that eventually it will get better, but yes, nerves tend to take the longest to heal. I got to a point where I knew that the doctors couldn't help me beyond poking and prodding, numbing and speculating what they could do for me.

      Time will make it better as long as what it is that bothers the nerve doesn't happen. Now that you hopefully know what causes it and how you can not aggravate it, know that the recovery process is on its way!

      Thank you so much for commenting and I am truly glad to hear that this post helped even a bit for you! I hope to hear how you're doing! It will go away eventually.