As cyclists we have to come to terms with the fact that we will injure ourselves at some point. It is inevitable. Like shaving your legs; one day it will happen, no matter how much to try to put it off.
Whether it is a stretched muscle, road rash or broken bones, we will all end up having to take some time off the bike to rest up and recover. It’s frustrating, it’s bad for morale and all you want to do is get back out there. I know.
Sitting here, post-accident, I have had time to reflect on this event and the subsequent healing process. So here are my top ten tips on how to manage the ordeal.
See the doctor.
Sounds dumb but seriously, we all think we are the world’s toughest human beings and we can just ride it off. DON’T. You’ll probably just prolong the recovery and have even longer sitting under your spouses ‘Told You So’ disapproving gaze.
Decide which food you are going to binge on regardless of calories.
This is very A good choice here is paramount as, when you can’t move for a day or two being stuck in bed, you won’t want to start regretting that decision. Choose something comforting, preferably sweet (but not too sweet), and something you know you won’t get sick of. For me this was marzipan. No idea why, just had a craving.
Buy more of that foodstuff than any nutrionist or health professional would ever advise. If you have a Costco nearby that stocks said foodstuff, go there. It’s more economical that way. If ‘cartload’ is an option, choose that.
Decide on which box-set you are going to binge watch.
Less important if you have Netflix as you can always change your mind. You have loads of time, go crazy. I’m pretty much done with ‘The Flash’, if you are looking for a recommendation.
Find some sort of cycling outlet on TV.
Thankfully, the Tour de France is on at the moment so I still get my cycling fix. GCN is good instead but, if you are like me, you have already watched every video. Maybe they should do one on ‘How Not To Crash’?
Revel in the crashes at the Tour de France and convince yourself yours was worse. Console your ego with marzipan. No one needed to elbow you to make you come off the bike. Inhale some marzipan.
Brood on how you came to have your accident, look for anyone to blame other than yourself. Eat marzipan.
Wonder where your marzipan has gone and how are you going to buy more, without putting trousers on for the first time in three days.
Work out a concrete story that elaborates on just how awful your injury is.
When friends ask how you are doing, you can then be succinct in explaining how it came to pass but also really emphasise how your injury is the worst to ever happen to any cyclist EVER, making you a true hero battling through with minimum medical supervision. Eat some marzipan as you deserve it for being such a brave old soul.
Be grumpy and snappy now your marzipan has run out.
I really cannot stress how important step 1 is. Seeing the doctor means you should heal quicker and therefore have less time to make these awful decisions. You will be able to get back on the bike and hence burn off the excess calories you have taken on in your stupor of self-pity.
Injuries are unavoidable but dealing with them needn’t be a negative process. It will allow you time to review your journey thus-far, plan on how you will rehabilitate and eventually move forward with your training. Ultimately, you should use it as a platform for improvement, not a reason for giving up. If anything, it just makes you hungrier to get back out there.