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Adventures on a bike; sometimes on foot

Life doesn’t always go to plan

It’s been a bad few months for me. Next to no riding has been done and frankly, i’m not sure it ever will again.

My back had been on & off again sore, and eventually I said enough is enough and poked my GP until he ordered an MRI. Turns out i’ve ruptured L5-S1 disc which is compressing nerves intermittently and leaving me thankful for those days I can walk without pain.

Riding is a complete impossibility at the moment. There was one short remission before I had a firm diagnosis where I managed to 70k back to back days and then i fell in a heap again and knew something wasn’t right.

I have a specialist appointment in a couple of weeks where I’ll try to get a better sense of what a realistic recovery goal should be, but somehow I’m not expecting him to say that 750 miles through the arizona desert will make for good physical therapy. Yes, core strength will help, but it can only do so much. Perhaps stem cells in 10 years time? It doesn’t seem like they have the whole stem cell thing figured out for back injuries just yet.

So I sit around getting fatter, reading the odd book and wasting far too much time on the internet. The thing that frustrates me the most is that the ride that broke me wasn’t even close to ‘epic’. Clearly I think more highly of my own phisical limits than reality, but a 100k gravel grind should be a walk in the park. Clearly it wasn’t. In some perverse sort of way, i think i’d be much more comfortable with my injury if it had occurred while in the middle of a multi day smashfest. Then i’d be able to shrug my shoulders and say ‘well what did you expect was going to happen?”. That’s some strange logic, but it’s where my head is right now.

So in what could well be the last post on this blog (since it just serves to remind me of all I have lost), I’ll just leave you with a single thought.



Responses (6) to “Life doesn’t always go to plan”

  1. Adam says:

    Hey Ross. Not good news mate. We’ve crossed pathes a few times over the years in glenrock, the Patto and a few random trails. I’m in a very similar position to you. My L5-S1 blew out about eight years ago now resulting in an emergency discectomy. The recovery sucked, but until recently I was riding 5 – 10hrs per week (it’s a lot for a fat bastard) with zero pain. Unfortunately I now have degenerative disc disease with osteophytes pushing heavily on the nerve root which has me off the bike and on the oxycodone. The good news that treatment has come a long way since then and my surgeon (dr kuru at Warner’s bay, worth a visit) is confident I’ll be back on the mtb with a stronger back than I have had in the last 10y. My point is that you need to stop this quitting bullshit, get yourself sorted and you’ll be back on the bike before you know it.



    • RossC says:

      Hey Adam,

      Yeah, i was having a sooky day, but it’s my blog and i’ll cry if i want too šŸ™‚

      I’ll go for a ride again soon. I was having a really bad week when i wrote that. The last 2 weeks have been much much better. Time to take the new bike and get it dirty

  2. Darren M says:

    Hi Ross,

    How’s all this going? I haven’t kept up with the blog for a while and was disappointed to hear about the back issues.

    • RossC says:

      Much better of late. The last 3 weeks have been really good. As a matter of fact, i’m seriously considering dusting off the fatbike this afternoon and going for a little wander along the sand.

  3. Matt says:

    Any updates on how the back is coming along Ross?

    • RossC says:

      Sorry Matt, I missed this one amongst all the canned ham that webpages attract. It’s doing better than it has in a long time. I’m hopeful I can get back to silly amounts of riding. Certainly my waistline could use the exercies!

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