Tour De France

My FTP, on February 7th (when I was recovering from RED January and wanted to try cycling properly again) was a paltry 114. Now, having equalled my best ever FTP score (I believe) it is back to the place where doing that circuit back in 2018 was achieved sub twenty minutes. To do so will eventually be easier because of stamina and strength, but right now the bigger issue is mental.

Shaving two minutes off that score last night was rough, really physically painful. There will be some rest today:  when I do ride it will all be in a comfort zone. It was even harder yesterday to keep riding for the fifteen minutes at the end when all I wanted to do was stop, and that’s probably done more for my brain and body than anything else that could be managed full tilt. Effort is easy, stamina is not.

Yesterday is the closest I’ve come for some time to just giving up.

stewartdoublefingers

I know what depression feels like, and that’s not what this is. I’m not suffering from the whole over training thing either, that’s a whole different set of variables at play. This, like it or not, is feeling as if I’m doing enough. You would think that seven minutes off a time would be sufficient to keep me happy, but it really isn’t… probably because that best time is a reminder of what was normal: putting that up against what is here now…

Yeah, I know. Attainment is a tough ask, but what is even more difficult to manage when the world is going to shit, and out of your hands, is any lasting sense of satisfaction. Maybe that’s the bigger issue, that turning off my brain is becoming increasingly difficult a task to maintain. All you lucky people who can just zone out when it all gets too much… those of us used to trauma just maintain this constant, exhausting state of battle readiness.

sotired

Telling me I am enough is one thing, getting brain to believe that is a different ask entirely. Once upon a time I’d have found a video game to hide in as means by which I could escape this, and that yet maybe provide an answer. For everything else there needs to be the means by which my brain can be effectively allowed to stop cycling, over and over, lap after lap of need to improve but at the same time with some space to recover.

Nobody said progress was ever easy.

Cinderella Rockefella

The hot sweats are back. This is undoubtedly not good for rational, sensible behaviour. However, I’m not a hysterical woman. Thursday night’s emotional outpouring was, undoubtedly, sadness and fear. It’s like being two seperate people right now: the functioning adult and a scared, incapable child. The thing that joins them both is emotion, or the complete lack of it.

Right now, I am totally numb.

nowaywinterends

There’s no point being angry about anything: these are issues that cannot be changed, intractable variables placed by time and circumstance. What has to happen is for me to move on, and so it seems a good idea to treat all of this right now as grief. Therefore, it is time to establish new routines and make the most of my increased physical resilience. It will make lots of tasks easier going forward.

Being numb has a lot of advantages, especially when it comes to being rational in the face of increasing hormonal instability. The downside, however, is it doesn’t make for sparkling conversation or emotional interest. Right now, there has to be a choice: with only a limited amount of ability and capacity, you do what’s doable. It helps a lot that the comfort eating avenue’s been finally quashed, though.

Happiness should, I hope, come eventually in time.

sosurprised

Except oddly, this is a happy place. It’s not one fuelled by the need to watch Thing A or buy Thing B. If there’s real honesty here, just the process of writing, poetry and stories grants the satisfaction I have craved for a very long time. Going out’s not nearly as much fun as I remember it being, maybe that needs fixing. There are a lot of variables right now that aren’t clearly defined, or indeed describable.

That however is the biggest step forward in terms of personal progression. Writing has granted me the ability to describe how I feel, properly, for the first time in years. This blog post would not have been possible a year ago. That’s where things are in terms of progress. So, yeah, I may not have everything organised or under control but at least that fact can be better communicated than before.

I’ll take that.

Still Alive

benefits

By far my biggest single issue is obsessing about the things I should just let happen by themselves.

However, occasionally there’s a moment where concern about something becomes justified, and my worries that the course of tablets prescribed for a chest infection was doing more harm than good ended up as being the right call. As a result, there are new drugs and a distinct improvement from this time last week, which frankly feels like a lifetime ago. I don’t see any point in writing about what happened, on reflection. Sometimes, you don’t need to share everything.

I’m on light duties in the brain department, until Monday when we’ll go back to Work Mode (TM). For now, having got the all clear to begin exercising again, I’m working on arm rehab and getting back to approximating normal routines. There’ll be work on back end stuff across the weekend, the beginnings of which will be apparent to those of you paying attention. Mostly, it is reassuring to be back to ‘normal.’