Friday, June 20, 2014

Clicking in and checking out....

This is the end of week 3 living in the upside down world. It's all still pretty surreal. I find myself thinking of calling her or sending her a text which is what I normally did at least once per day...every day....for the last 32 years.

I've never been good at sitting still and that has only been exacerbated by the fact that now not only do I not want to sit still, I've been trying to avoid allowing my brain any downtime to sit and dwell. I know that's probably not healthy, and the "experts" all say it's better to let the emotions come and deal with them, but that's not how I'm wired. I stay busy...

One thing I've found that really seems to help is riding. Last Saturday a couple of us did a ride up Diablo to the junction, down the other side, through Concord, Walnut Creek and back to Danville. As we climbed Diablo, I was able to put the brain in neutral and focus on making my legs go around in circles.

It's amazingly therapeutic and as the road climbed I pushed harder and harder on the pedals forcing the pain out of my heart and into my lungs and quads. I focused even deeper pushing out the pain with each ragged breath and letting the tears flow, mixing with the sweat as it ran down my face.
Eventually, we reached the ranger station and as we stopped I could feel the flush leaving my legs as my heart rate settled and the endorphins began to flow into my system like a natural painkiller.

The downhill portion was another escape requiring total focus and balance. Tucking in to turns, avoiding the many bumps and potholes, the wind in my ears harmonizing with the worship music blaring through my ear buds allowing me to avoid any type of thought other than staying upright and on line.

Eventually we reached the canal path that takes us through town and back to Danville Rd where again, I was able to check out, make circles and take my brain offline. As the thoughts would begin to creep in I would push harder on the pedals trying to replace them with the pain and burning of my legs and several times I'd look up only to realize I had dropped the others at which point I'd have to sit up and soft pedal so we could regroup.

Later in the day as I reflected on the ride, I realized I was a less than ideal ride partner for the others since I was so focused on dealing with my own stuff, but that's the best part about riding with friends....they completely understand and don't mind.

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