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”.