Pushing Through the Slow Season


Each morning, I wake up and check the weather. How warm is it going to be? Can I get outside on my bike today? After a tough and cold ride in mid-January on a day around 50 degrees, which resulted in me spending a few days in bed afterwards, I’ve imposed a ’60 degree’ rule before will even think about going outside.

In the meantime, I have done some training down in the basement. There is no off-season when it comes to the PMC for me. I need to ride and ride and ride like I have never trained before to get ready for the 2 day trek in August. Why? One of the 4 chemo drugs, called bleomycin, that got pumped into me back in 2011, did some damage to my lungs. The good news is that exercise seems to have a positive affect in reversing the damage. This damage is not an acute problem, but I definitely get short of breath faster than I have before. My doctor assures me that I should return to normal with time and continued activity. So train and train and train I will, so that 110 miles on Saturday and another 84 on Sunday will be completed on that first weekend in August.

Along with this basement training, I have been doing a lot of reading. There are two blogs in particular that I have been fascinated by.

The first blog I crossed paths with a while ago. Suleika Jaouad, a 23-year-old writer from Saratoga Springs, has been writing the “Life, Interrupted” blog on NY Times for the last couple of years. She posts weekly about what life as a young adult going through cancer. I was her age during my first diagnosis and treatment. I cannot imagine having the depth and clarity of thought to write so openly at that age.

The second is by Lisa B. Adams (@adamslisa on twitter). Even though I have never met her, or spoken with her, I regularly think about Lisa and her writing, as I find her a must-read follow on Twitter. She also has her own blog and is featured on Huffington Post. I have read and re-read her amazing recent post “The Hardest Conversation“, a breath-taking recap of her discussion with her oldest daughter about having metastatic cancer. It is beautifully candid, thoughtful, and honest and worth a read. She has given me much to think about, especially how, one day, I will be able to talk about my two diagnosis and cancer fights with our daughter Shannon, and how it has shaped me, how it has changed me, and how it changed our lives. For this gift, I will be forever grateful to my online ‘acquaintance’ @adamslisa.

I hope you enjoy these blogs, if you are interested, and that the weather gets above that magic 60 degree mark soon – I have to get out of the basement.

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3 thoughts on “Pushing Through the Slow Season

  1. I got Nick a bike for his5th birthday and then we got Mike one too so they can ride together (I guess I am next, right? 😉 Nick has gotten out twice this winter (Mike’s bike is used and needs a tune-up before he can go anywhere). which tells you how mild the weather has been (the last 2 weeks notwithstanding). Delighted to hear you are back on the bike and building up those lungs!
    Nick started karate in September. I started shortly after and then promptly dislocated my knee (ick) but I started up again a few weeks ago. I have never been an active or athletic person, but I really enjoy the karate and am making a commitment to the art and discipline and really want to stick with it. I am working these days on being mindful and present in my life and I find the focus and discipline of shotokan karate is really helping me.
    It never ceases to amaze me how the mind can influence the body and vice versa. In karate when I am learning a new move my brain needs to understand the mechanics before I can make my body follow through, but then once I have learned it I find it is easiest to just focus on the flow, let my brain relax, and revel in the synergy between mind and body and allow myself to be fully present in my body and in the world, and be able to embrace that fully without fear and with full purpose. I suspect the more I find this balance in karate, the more I can apply it in my life in general!

  2. I so admire you for doing your inside or outside ride every day. Maybe I’ll get inspired to do the same. I am VERY GLAD that you are staying inside when the weather is below 60. It takes a long time to get smart and I am glad you are there! Keep on riding, dear Andy. You are always in our hearts and prayers.

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