2017, in pictures and fragments

Like any good suburban mother, I was going through 2017 pictures to make one of those photo calendars that are proudly displayed on refrigerators across the nation and I realized — holy shit, I barely have any “good” pictures from this year. We didn’t do much that wasn’t tinged with pain or recovery. 2017 wasn’t what I imagined it to be, but when I really press myself I’m not unhappy with it’s outcome considering the circumstances I couldn’t change. Spinal fusion surgery defined my year.

I’ll hit 5000 miles for the year, but it’s obvious that those were “easy” miles, not much climbing, little to no exposure to the elements, and a significant lack of suffering in the traditional sense. However, many of them were hard fought considering the state of my ravaged body, cut practically in half mid-year to provide front and back access to my lower spine. I was off the bike for 2 months leading into surgery while I was on bed rest in attempt to halt the progression of nerve damage, and was essentially off the bike except for 5 or 10 minute, 50 watt spins for the month of July.  I can look back on the year and know that I constantly pushed to my limits almost every single damn day, and sometimes past them, in an effort to get back to feeling like “me”.

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LML in March. I decided last minute to ride the short course. This was the last outdoor ride in 2017 where I really had fun. A few weeks later at Ragnarok the nerve issues were so bad I would fall off the bike mid-ride.

 

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Surgery was on its way, and I made sure to take Little Man out on a few special outings and grit my teeth through the pain.

 

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June brought the addition of the “deck screws” in my spine

 

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At the hospital, drugged out of my ever loving mind and hauling around 20 lbs of bloat. I had fallen down the stairs multiple times before surgery due to the nerve issues, so I was deemed a “fall risk” and had to wear that belt around my waist so a caretaker could always have a good grip when I was on the move.

 

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My trainer bike! When I bought this beauty for $125, I had NO IDEA it would be my salvation due to its short top tube, generous cabling, and our discovery of a quill stem that could be put in ludicrous positions.

 

 

 

 

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I got out for a few blissful rides with my Little Man before the snow fell!

 

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I love / hate this trainer. It is allowing me to regrow leg muscle and lung capacity while I’m still VERY limited on outdoor riding capability.

 

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Hellooooooooo quads! How I missed you!

 

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Goodbye, 2017. Here’s to more fulfilling miles on the bike in 2018.

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