I'm still in my staring match with the impending radiation treatment. It was originally scheduled for Jan 7th, but at the beginning of last week a blood test indicated that a hormone (TSH) that my body is producing in prodigious quantities since I'm off of my daily thyroid-pill, isn't high enough.
The last couple weeks have been a bit of a struggle. Thyroid hormone basically sets your metabolic rate and is important for general energy as well. Most people gain a bunch of water weight in addition to real weight while hypothyroid (low on thyroid hormone). I tend to feel depressed. I hesitate to qualify the depression at all, since 'very' depressed is so subjective and a stupid term. But let's just say that if I don't get some time to relax everyday and ride my bike, then I feel like jumping off a bridge.
I've always used movement and activity as a sort of meditation, through which I somehow change my mind in some weird way and without which; my mind doesn't work as well. Sounds like an addiction doesn't it? Probably is. But the sports/activities I've chosen in my life every since I was a kid are always so much more than exercise. If all I needed was exercise then I'm sure the gym and those bloody cardio machines would suffice. But I usually won't be caught dead on the hamster machines. My sports have always enabled and empowered me as a person...much more so than just exercise might do for some people. My progression of sports from about 2nd grade onwards went something like this:
Speed skater--> Rollerbladder/Skateboarding (mostly in skate parks)-->mountain biking-->High school and then college LaCrosse, which also made me a runner-->college cross country-->mountain biking--> sport climbing (clipping bolts)-->bouldering-->trad climbing--> cycling in all forms, but preferably off-road
Skiing, sailing, and yoga are intermixed throughout that timescape, but were never central.
All of those activities, with the exception of Lacrosse have a certain culture or community about them, so that each became more of a lifestyle than anything else (never really dug the 'Lacrosse lifestyle'). I've always felt that if I lived near the ocean, surfing would be what I'd do, mostly because I love being connected to the natural world and being able to talk to others about it.
So when I feel like shit, even right now, a ride is just how I change my mind. Hopefully there'll be some temps above single digits this weekend, which is pretty much my line in the sand for riding.
Right now the radiation treatment is scheduled for Jan 21, so I have a couple of more weeks of feeling tired. Can't wait to get it done but for now, the staring match with cancer continues. I think it might blink soon. In the meantime, I've pretty much nailed down my race schedule for next year. Primary goal: have fun, meet moar friends, stay sane, get outside amap. Secondary goal: Build it all up for 2010 cx season and represent my team/sponsors and the StL/BoCoMo well at the Trek Big Ring Classic and Jingle Cross.