Wednesday, 23 December 2015

#RoadToGold - Weeks 3 and 4

...Recollecting what I did 2 weeks ago seems like a daunting task right now and makes me wish I had not procrastinated when I was supposed to update this blog last week. My instant gratification monkey overpowered me last Tuesday and almost did so today too! But then, the thought of having to recollect 3 weeks' actions brought out the panic monster in me and here I am.

L-R: Panic monster, Instant gratification monkey and Me
The main reason I started this blog is to document stories of my adventures on the bike. When I crashed in November, I had an idea to weekly update my blog which I could use to notice how my thinking processes and thought patterns changed evolved over a period of time, so that one day I can look back and go "God, I was such an idiot!".

A week after I crashed I locked up my instant gratification monkey and started meditating daily. Over a period of time, this tool has given me a better clarity of my thought patterns. By analyzing them, I have been able to oversee the puny problems which I tended to exaggerate. Just how much did I exaggerate? To give you an idea, I spent 2 sleepless nights back in June all the while worried because I was getting less than half an hour in races.  

Over time, I gathered alternative perspectives on my situation which helped me sleep better. That and I improved in races in the following weeks.

Right now, the biggest hurdle I face is procrastination. Many a times , I have found myself either quit halfway through a blogpost or spend twenty minutes staring at the blinking cursor and then calling it quits to watch videos of JacksgapHis videos are dangerously addictive!  Last week, the nerd in me spent 20 hours spread over 3 days reading a 4 part series about Elon Musk. I then spent the next 2 days overcoming an identity crisis.

I now undoubtedly believe that this guy is the raddest man on Earth!

I've realized that this a hurdle and not a wall and I have been reading through tons of articles online to gain a better insight into it's mechanisms which I believe will help me jump above it.

 My ramblings above should tell you by now that I've been off the bike for waaaaaaaaaay too long with waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much free time on my hands.

Back to the domain of bike racing, the 2015 Indian National Championships have been scheduled to take place from the 24th of February to the 27 of February, 2016. No,that was not a typo.
With the inclusion of a 2.5km 4% climb, the racing will surely be interesting. The whippet hound in me wags his tail in agreement!

I got on the trainer for the first time on Monday. The huge void in training has definitely taken its toll on my strength, but I have got 9 weeks to prepare and with the coaching of one of the smartest people I know, I am pretty confident, I will back to shape by then.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

#Roadtogold - Week 2

2 weeks in and the hurting phase of recovery have become episodes of the past.
On a not-so-bright note, the discomfort phase has kicked in. 6 weeks spent wearing a cloth strap around one's armpits? Not fun.

I cursed my situation in the first two days last week for the distress I was in and also on missing out on all the riding I could've done.
On the third day, I switched on the telly and all my worries seemed trivial compared to the horrendous events that the citizens of Chennai have been facing.
All of a sudden, not being able to ride my bike seemed like a pin prick next to spending days without a proper roof or adequate nutrition!
On a brighter note, witnessing (on the telly) the collective coming together of people, caste and creed not mattering, to help each other was the highlight of my week!

Hang in the Chennai! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Cliché, but true.

With regards to my exams, the remaining theory subjects seem dwarfed compared to FEM and I've been tackling them with a clear and calm head, a bit too calm at times! I've got one theory paper and three practical exams (Pfft!) remaining.

I am also pretty excited to get back on the bike which I intend to do so on the 21st of this month. I will not be able to go out on the road for the first couple of weeks, but it beats not riding at all.

Until next week!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

#RoadToGold - Week 1

Sheesh! Has it been a week already?!
Feels like only yesterday, when I was powering on the TT rig at OMR (Old Madras Road).

So, how was week numero uno?

After returning from the hospital, I felt slightly comfortable knowing that I've been through this earlier. I opted for the non-surgical method of treating a clavicle (collarbone) fracture which involves wearing a clavicle brace for 6 weeks along with a hand sling for 3-4 weeks.

For the bone to heal properly, it is necessary to hold it in an outstretched position while also ensuring that it does not support any load.
The clavicle brace is an 8-shaped brace which goes around my shoulders and meets at my back.

Pros of a clavicle brace:
1. It holds the shoulders in a retracted position, aligning the collarbone rightfully.
2. It also opens up my chest, thus preventing Kyphosis.

Cons of a clavicle brace:
1. Armpits are constantly irritated. Every. Single. Second.
2. The degrees of freedom when I am asleep is restricted to 1.

I was mentally prepared to handle the discomfort, but what I had not anticipated was the crippling effect of a nerve being irritated at the junction where the two broken bits meet.
The first two nights can be described as walking through a landmine. A single wrong move or a slight unbalance in the weight distribution would fire up the dorsal horns immediately!

At one point, my eyes began to tear up involuntarily because of the pain! On a brighter note, I am confident I can go harder in future TTs and VO2 Max intervals, having reached a higher threshold of pain.

In the movie "Kung Fu Panda", Po-the Kung Fu Panda is tested in the temple and at one point, he has to maneuvre himself out of a thorny-mechanism-thingy mine field. This closely resembles my third night when an injury on my right hip flared up further diminishing my movement.

On the 4th day, as in life, things started to get better. Having lived in a fool's paradise, i.e., spending 20 hours a day on the bed, the previous three days I was determined to get more proactive and was searching for a source of motivation.

One of the greatest motives is fear and no 4 words scare a 20 year old more than, " Finite Element Methods (FEM) Examination"
This is closely followed by "We need to talk" and "You've broken your collarbone".

FEM is the most annoyingly difficult subject I've faced in the past 7 semesters and I am glad to have gotten it behind me. Here's to hoping that my prayers to the 330 million deities are answered and I clear the exam.

1 exam done. 8 more to go.

Until next week!

P. S. I apologise for the lack of photos. The blogger app is a pain to work with. I'll be launching my own website soon, wherein I promise to put in more pics, gifs and cat videos.