The wind today, ah, the wind. I try to think of it as a friend, a training buddy since I usually ride alone. Most of the time, the wind and I get along. It pushes me to drop to the downs, to work on remaining still, to pedal full circle. Today, though, I found no joy in riding with the wind insistent on blowing upwards of 25 mph. The game it's been playing for nearly two months now has gotten old.
While I was feeling this way during my ride, I remembered Mom saying nearly the same thing about MS. I, at least, could downshift whenever I decided to ease up. I could even coast and not work at all if I wanted. With MS, Mom never got a chance to downshift or to coast. MS made all the rules and played dirty. If it wasn't muscle spasms one day, it was constant pain in her legs the next. If it wasn't numbness in her fingers for weeks, it was a ringing in her ear that kept her from sleeping. To try and deal with the ever changing rules of the MS game, Mom would just shake her head, grit her teeth, and say, "This is the pits."
So at mile 8 of my 30 miles today, I said, "This is the pits." But instead of downshifting or coasting to make things easier, I settled into the downs and concentrated on making full, powerful circles, working to keep my cadence and heart rate up. I wanted to make the rules for this game I'm playing with the wind. And I wanted to feel some pain. For Mom.