Where Has #BikeLife Gone?

Hey friends!
It's been a heck of a long time since I wrote a post for this site, and I'll say that it's been a mixture of intentional and unintentional. Travis and I closed off the busy 2020 season with a wonderful trip filled with mountain biking. Then as soon as we got home, it seemed the cold fall season hit- any day trips were unable to happen due to trail conditions/weather. Back to work, back to projects large and small. Back to reality.

Over the winter I realized that I totally pushed away almost anything in my life that was not bike-related. The busy season is filled with bikes of some sort, either service work or bike builds. I put extreme pressure on myself to get out and bike AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE...even if I didn't really WANT to. That, my friends, is the key to successful burnout. I decided that for 2021 I wanted to make sure to incorporate more into my life, to feed the other interests and curiosities, so that I could feel like a more well-rounded human. I mean, that's part of the human experience, amiright?

2021 started off right, and I managed to keep myself interested in mountain biking while taking an online course, journaling, reading, and (in general) feeding all parts of my soul. I was feeling great. Then the busy season hit full force- the ongoing bike industry shortage kept slapping us in the face. Having the same conversations over and over again: days, weeks, and months on end. 

I mean, I legitimately can't bring myself to write all the nitty-gritty details because I'm truly exhausted on a mental/emotional level. To write what I talk about almost daily, every single week, is just...I can't. Nope. Too tired. You're not here for that anyway.

Because of #bikeshoplife our week vacation will play out a little differently with a couple (hopefully!) day trips to ride somewhere. Locations are to be determined in the future, but we've been pondering visiting the Davenport or Dubuque areas. For my actual birthday weekend, we're going to take a trip to Minnesota and visit a Renaissance Fair! We'll likely take a gander and ride at Lebanon once or twice (weather permitting) Basically, we're keeping ourselves open to whatever Mother Nature allows....and I'm hoping that she will allow for some mountain biking.

Another bit that has had me take a step back has been a wee bump in the metaphorical road health-wise. Late June, I discovered I was the proud owner of two Submucosal Uterine Fibroids- literally right before July aka Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month. Go figure.

In June I may or may not have had an ovarian cyst that popped, either way, I had a period from Hell because of so much cramping. Not only that, but I had dealt with almost constant, daily cramping of some degree that entire month. THE ENTIRE MONTH. Basically, it's as if my uterus had a tension headache that never went away. Ibuprofen and Tylenol were taken cocktail style to try and alleviate the discomfort. I have a high pain tolerance, which makes me question if I'm actually uncomfortable or not- and if I'm questioning...duh. I am. Lower back pain plus pain radiating down my legs...walking sucked. Sitting sucked. Having to suck it up and run around at work sucked. Literally. There are days where I legit felt/feel miserable. 

I'm glad I figured out what's going on, but the next part is figuring out the remedy that may or may not last. Once you develop fibroids it seems very likely you'll continue to develop them until you hit menopause. (I got, I think, a long way to go.) Because I'm child-free, that also puts me at higher risk for developing fibroids. (Yay. Not.) You can have fibroids and not even know you have them. I'd look at that as my best-case scenario if more come my way...in the worst case, I'll go back to Painville.

I have an appointment at the end of September to visit with a Gynecologist to figure out my next step. My hope is that I can have a treatment/procedure/surgery before March so I can start off the next busy season feeling FABULOUS. (Do note when I'm considering procedures/surgery, I'm only considering removal of my 2 fibroids or UFE, not anything beyond that.)

#BikeLife this year has been more about actively using a Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 as transportation. The ride to work and back is an absolute blast, and I love being able to keep up with vehicle traffic!

Most of my time has been sucked up at work and I may feel up to going out on the trails once a week or a couple times a month. It's really toned down due to work commitments and my fibroids taking the wind out of my sails.

Using the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 to bike out to Freeport area to visit my mom has been fun. I also have a cute little Burley Nomad trailer and some panniers that I use to get groceries! I legitimately battle anxiety getting myself out onto the trail, due to how busy it can be, but once I'm out there it's been a-okay. I am very lucky I think with timing, and from my house to say, Walmart, is a short blip all things considered. It's been quite liberating to think that almost the entire month of July I have been able to use my bike for all of my previous car-using trips! Trail access is a major part of that. Now I'm sad thinking about the winter months and my not biking out to visit my mom. It'll depend on the trail conditions (part of it doesn't get plowed) and also how cold it may be. I do have a limit because of Raynaud's.

Anyway, I wanted to write something to give you all some sort of update. Mostly it's just me being busy and being extra tried on a mental, emotional, and physical level. Life is good. There may be a new bike (or two?!) coming soon. Well, for sure one bike...and it's going to be frickn' amazing.

I'm hoping when the shop slows down some this fall I can get out and get some more rides in on the mountain bike trails...and maybe we can take a couple additional day trips in October....and maybe I can get some of those on the GoPro. (Which I legit haven't used at all this season, and I have some fun lenses I want to try out!)

#BikeLife is not dead...just going a little bit of a different direction than in years past. I've realized more than ever that I need to take care of my mental/emotional health. Sometimes it's okay to take a step back and reprioritize. Mountain biking is super important to me, but it's not ALL that makes me, me. Sometimes you have to remind yourself, and allow yourself, to spend time doing other things. Sometimes you have to be okay with accepting that other things have to take priority. It is what it is.