My living room that is. One month removed from the worst crash of my career so far, and hopefully the worst I'll ever have, I'm happy to say that I've found peace, and a routine. Though unwanted and at times utterly demoralizing, this forced break has caused me to take a step back and reassess my approach to training and my connection to this sport.
Starting with the latter, I now know beyond all doubt that I love cycling. It' been 4 weeks since I've seen a road or raced my bike, and I can honestly say that I do not feel whole. I'm definitely eager to be back. As for the former, I've adopted a somewhat new approach to training that has allowed me to settle into a very tolerable routine on the trainer. Not only has this change in direction helped me get through this time and stay in shape, but I am confident that it will both bring me back in better form than ever before and serve me well in the future as I continue to apply it back on the road.
Admittedly, this past month has not been all unicorns and rainbows. There have been some darker days that have admittedly reduced me to a state of considerable depression. It sucks when you can't do the things you love. There is just no other way to put it. But when you truly love them, you do the best you can and you survive. You find inspiration all around you and you realize that time heals all wounds, and that soon enough you will have those things back. Today, that inspiration came from cycling itself. It came from Sylvain Chavanel.
Recovering from a skull fracture just 2 months ago, Chavanel returned to racing with gusto and with love. The tears he shed today were not just the tears of some overly emotional athlete, like the ones we've sees from World Cup players the past few weeks. They were the tears of redemption. They were tears that proved how strong the human heart and will are, and they were the tears that will get me through this last leg of my recovery.
As Chavanel said himself after his win this morning, "It just goes to show that you should never give up. I had a really hard time recovering from my injury two months ago, and even before that I only had some top 20 placings in the Spring Classics even though I was always in the right group. And then, when I think of all these hours of training in front of the TV, watching the Giro... I can put all of that behind me now."
See you all soon.