I was eventually able to remount my bike. BUT with a twist: to begin, I rode my electric bike (a Devinci Sydney retrofitted with an excellent BionX kit, which you can read about here). This allowed me to cycle while consuming as much (or as little) energy as I pleased. Even with the motor running at full speed, each bike ride drained me, and I’d collapse on the sofa feeling as if I’d been sat on by an elephant and then had to flee a fierce rhinoceros. Not enjoyable, and I’m sure I was not enjoyable to be around when lying on the sofa and whining loudly.
Nonetheless, I was pleased and satisfied that I was at least going through the motions – my legs were pounding my pedals in a manner identical to that of a true cyclist, even though I was receiving a great deal of assistance. My attitude improved just as a result of getting out and doing SOME exercise. And, of course, I was experiencing the thrill of biking – something I always enjoy, whether on a conventional cycle or an electric bike, in the sunlight or during a monsoon-like rain storm.
Yes, each of us has been there. Being wounded stinks, whether it’s a fracture, sprain, or back discomfort. While your pals are cycling and improving their fitness and speed, boredom sets in, your data use skyrockets, and you deplete our Netflix subscription. Going from a regular workout and riding program, with all the amazing endorphins it provides, to pure inactivity can leave you dissatisfied, depressed, and frequently adding a few more pounds.
However, this does not have to be the case! I’ve had a number of injuries, including a fractured pelvis, a broken wrist, a broken toe, and, most recently, a shattered heel that required substantial metal work during surgery. Whatever the severity of your injury, it may be a blessing in disguise, providing an opportunity to return stronger, quicker, and more driven than before. The option is entirely yours, and here is how…
Rest, Rest, and More Rest!
Following an injury, your body works extremely hard and consumes a great deal of energy to initiate the healing process. It is critical to provide it with the time, rest, and nourishment it requires to do a successful job. The initial few weeks are critical for healing, since the wounded spot is frequently delicate while your body prepares to begin repairs. Any disturbance to this by engaging in aggravating activities will only set you up for a lengthier and more difficult recovery. Therefore, it is preferable to take the plunge and listen to your body!
Make a Magnificent Plan!
Plan your rehabilitation. There is still plenty you can accomplish, and now is an excellent time to focus on your deficiencies. Utilize this opportunity to recharge your batteries and return stronger and more motivated. For instance, I was aware that my core, upper body, left hip, and glutes required work before to becoming hurt, and after becoming disabled, I finally had an opportunity to treat them.
I devised a preliminary strategy that corresponded to the surgeon’s recommendations and schedule, allowing me to continue progressing while addressing my weaknesses and rehabilitation. I’m easily bored, so I’d shake things up daily with a different routine. On the first three months – when I was wearing a moon boot – I used my crutches to go for walks, went to the gym to work on my upper body and core, and went aqua jogging or swimming in the pool.
Be inventive. There are several non-weight bearing workouts that you may perform to prevent muscular deconditioning and loss of fitness. It is critical to establish goals along the route. For instance, challenge yourself to a plank-hold contest; establish walking distance targets; establish goals for doing practical chores such as grocery shopping alone, etc. Keep track of your progress so that when things become tough or you’re feeling down, you can look back and realize how far you’ve come.
Pay attention to suffering. Pain is the most accurate measure of how your recovery is progressing. If your injured site is in discomfort during exercise, particularly if it is acute, pushing harder will do you no favors. Indeed, you may be jeopardizing your recuperation. If it does not cause pain, continue doing what you are doing!
Assemble a team to assist you in remaining on track. A physiotherapist, primary care physician, specialist, and support person(s) (friends, family, and/or dog) are all critical components of your recovery. Recovery is not something you can do alone; it’s beneficial to have others encouraging you along the road to let you know how well you’re doing – or to call you out if you become ridiculous and start overdoing it!
Remount the Horse Bike!
Once cleared to ride again, begin slowly. It’s normal to be nervous at first; your confidence will return with time. Be patient if you do not instantly feel like your old self. Again, take stock of your progress and keep in mind that you are still in the rehabilitation period of regaining 100 percent.
Begin riding flat gravel and challenge yourself each cycle with something new. Following a recent heel injury, I began riding flat gravel with the objective of standing and pedaling. My next objective was to ride hills, then clip in and out, then singletrack, then steeper singletrack, then harder terrain, and finally to manage drops and jumps. Begin with the fundamentals and gradually rebuild yourself. It takes time — it took me three months to advance from flat dirt rides to jumping.
Consider how you become wounded in the first place. Was it an accident? Examine it. While accidents do occur, many of them might have been avoided. It may be a good time to engage in skills coaching to equip yourself with the tools necessary to prevent this from happening again. Was it as a result of excessive training or an overuse injury? Then, maybe, hire a coach to assist you in developing an exercise regimen to avoid overtraining, or just take efforts to balance your riding schedule with other activities. For instance, set aside 2-3 days each week to go to the gym or perform home-based activities that will help you build your stability and core muscles. This will assist in relieving tension on overused muscles and joints, allowing you to maintain good balance on the bike.
By following these procedures, allowing your injury sufficient time to heal, and being active in other ways, you will return with a clear mind, more motivation, and frequently greater strength. Establish goals and have a positive attitude. This is within your grasp!