Finding Balance

Balancing on a recumbent bicycle in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Finding balance— on the bike, and in life.

David and I got to visit the gorgeous Oregon coast last weekend, as those of you who trained with us virtually “on location” already know!

It was wonderful!! We felt incredibly lucky to be working remotely in such a stunningly beautiful place!

I’m extra grateful it worked out, because to be honest, I wasn’t sure how my body would handle some aspects of the trip.

Anyone living with physical or mental health challenges knows just how tricky a balancing act travel can be.

On one hand, you want to experience life! Go all the places! Try all the things!

On the other hand, you also want to keep your inflammation low. Your mind peaceful. Your pain manageable.

It’s funny how often those goals seem to be at odds with each other.

It’s a constant calculation of tradeoffs.

“Will this one hour of fun be worth the physical toll it takes on my body/mind for the next week?”

I was especially nervous to try a recumbent bike— something I’ve wanted to try for years. The seated-pike position still causes me immediate and lasting pain. Add to the mix several hours of driving in the car, and it seemed like the perfect storm.

I decided to go for it, anyway.

You know what? It hurt. I’m not gonna lie. It STILL hurts! And now I have to wade through extra PT and recuperation just to get back to baseline.

But you know what else?

For that one, marvelous afternoon, coasting along the damp sand, feeling the ocean breeze in my hair, IT – WAS – WORTH – IT!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely not saying powering through is always worth it. On another week, that could have been a terrible choice. Like if my body weren’t in a good place going into it. Or if I didn’t have control over how long I could partake in the activity before deciding I’d had enough. I’m just lucky it worked out THIS time!

Please, please listen to your body. Honor your needs. Rest when you need to. Step back when you need to. And every now and then, when you feel it’s worth it… let yourself go.

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