With a delicate clunk my cleats clicked, a soft smooth falling into place. My hands rolled over the handlebars, palms remembering their place like it was only five minutes ago that I last sat in the saddle. With a push, I rolled away and felt the small drop as my left foot successfully fixed onto the pedal, too. Then there came the saddle. I distinctly remembered this saddle being the comfiest I’d ever sat on but now it was hard and a shock to my memory.
It will become comfier, I assured myself, the more I get out and about again. You quickly become unaccustomed to a bike saddle after-all when you’ve been off it for only a couple of weeks – let alone for five months.
And there we have it, the crux of this blog. I’ve been off the bike for such a long time and I wanted to cry with relief of being back in the saddle. First various injuries (again), a horrid winter and a truly energy-sapping virus had laid me low for a good chunk of the past year. Last weekend was finally the time to start again.
Mould covered my tyres from my lovely bike being sat in a damp cellar, neglected, and my choice of kit was so miss-mashed due to my sheer excitement at getting outside again that I looked like a lollypop. I looked a sight… The weather was miserly and grey but dry and the air was warm and still so little could dampen my happiness at rolling out into the countryside with Tom by my side (plus they’ve re-tarmacked the road out of Ripon – woo!).
These past five months have laid me pretty low both physically and mentally. More than I’d like to admit and it’s something I’m still struggling to come to terms with a little. My lack of activity, being off work and away from people really damaged my confidence with just about everything. Returning to work felt mammoth, as I simply did not know how I would cope with everything anymore – a feeling of self-doubt I was not accustomed to. Lack of energy to be able to get outside and stretch my legs has led to a bone aching fatigue in my joints that proved (and still does) to remind me that I have a little way to go in terms of getting back on my feet properly.
Quite honestly, it’s been a struggle but succeeding at this small, slow and steady ride out on Saturday feels like I’ve hit a huge mile stone. It’s really brought home how important being fit is to me on every level. Even being able to simply go for a walk is never something to take for granted.
I can’t wait for more.