The transformative power of a bike ride
One of the hardest things I’ve done lately, was to get out of bed after my afternoon nap, and get on my bike. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the energy for it – I did. I’m in a strong phase right now. It was that I was sad. And not the type of sad that happens when I have a needed breakdown, but the kind of sad that looks a lot like depression – and that scares me.
So, I dragged my ass out of bed and had a bowl of ice cream. I’m allowed comfort foods whenever I want them! And when you are sad, they help a little … plus I knew I would need the energy, cause if I was going to get off my ass and go for a bike ride I needed to ensure my body was fueled before I left.
So, I did it. I got changed and hopped on my road bike. For the first half hour of riding, I cried. My nose ran – most annoying side effect of chemo hair loss is that you lose the hair in your nose so your nose runs a lot sooner when you cry. I allowed myself to cry. I contemplated anti-depressant medication. I know that at some point I will probably need it, but I want to avoid it if I can. There are side effects to that as well.
About a half hour into my ride something changed – the endorphins kicked in – I suddenly started to see the beauty around me. I stopped to take this picture as the bird seem to be posing just for me.
The bike ride transformed me – from sad-Becky back into warrior-Becky. For the remainder of the ride I worked out the important arguments in a letter to the Editor for the New York Times relating to my recent blog post on bilateral mastectomies, that I plan to write (hopefully later this evening). Thank-you for those who have encouraged me to write something more formal.
I cannot say that I am no longer sad – I am just not dysfunctionally sad. I’ve moved past that part and can now start to pull my thoughts back together into actions. I hope to get out for another ride first thing tomorrow morning before it gets hot and sunny (since I cannot swim tomorrow due to low blood counts).