Ten weeks. For ten weeks I was bound to my desk, eyes glued to my books, studying 10-12 hours per day. For ten weeks, my days reached a level of monotony that I have never experienced before, and hope to never achieve again. For ten weeks, my social life consisted of an inappropriately intimate relationship between myself, my wife, and our DVR. For ten weeks, my fitness regimen followed a strict training plan outlined by a furry four-legged coach, and consisted of hot laps around my neighborhood (while he may be quite dapper, it is apparent that said laps were not actually very “hot”).
Worst of all, for ten weeks I did not touch my bike.
Well, that’s not completely true. I may have brushed a hand across the frame as I walked past, turned a crank to hear the bumble bee-like buzz, or squeezed a brake lever just to remind myself of the sensation. Back when I first entered medical school, I always swore that I would never be the type of student to cut myself off from anything or limit any part of my life for the sake of studying. However, I am also a firm believer that sacrifices must be made at times in order to reach one’s goals. Although I likely spent an excessive amount of time staring at my bikes from my desk daydreaming about riding instead of actually doing it, I can only hope it was for the best.
Well those ten weeks are over. The biggest exam of my medical school career is behind me, and thankfully, my bike and I have been reunited. Just like an old friend, she has taken me back with open arms. No judgments passed, no questions asked, no explanations necessary, just a simple nod of understanding and we are reintroduced as if we never skipped a beat. Funny enough, it almost feels like having to learn how to ride all over again. Readjusting my position, reminding my body which muscles are meant to do what, and best of all, reforming thicker skin where saddle sores would really like to develop. We have recently had a brief stretch of true winter weather around these parts, so much of my riding time has become an alternation between the rollers and the trainer. Rest assured, you will get no complaints from me.
Now the rebuilding begins. Goals have been outlined, training plans have been mapped out, and the legs have been shaved. Who knows what the next few months will bring, not just in terms of riding time and training, but life in general. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I have come to realize how fickle all of this planning can be. Mind you, especially with an ADD-esque mind such as my own, schedules and plans are an absolute necessity. However, if I have learned anything from my life as a student and wannabe-bike-racer, it is that a certain level of flexibility and willingness to adapt is a definite prerequisite. I never planned to take so much time off from the bike, in the same way I never planned to fall in love with the bike in the first place. I believe that things happen for a reason, we all have our calling, as well as a ton of other clichés that fit many of my life’s experiences. In all seriousness, while past experiences may have led us to where we are now, every moment is a new beginning, and I am more excited than ever to see what lies ahead.