A common theme covering my posts throughout the last year has been change. Good? Bad? That’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose. Probably bad until you embrace it and move forward, then good. Yeah, that’s it, I’m going to stick with that.
Anyhow, enough of that philosophical nonsense. I generally dislike the “talking about it” phase of everything and can’t wait to get started with the “get ‘er done” phase of things. Looking at my exercise posts, you’re going to find a lot of my beloved Catrike 700 and the adventures she has taken me through. The last six months or so has not brought with it a lot of pedaling, for various reasons of life.
Getting back in the sling over the last couple months, I’ve encountered a lot more trouble with my feet. This isn’t necessarily anything new per say (thought I’d solved this issue previously with my Sidi shoes), but it has quite honestly reached the point of issue. Previously, I’ve been able to go out for 20-70 mile rides without too much issue. Now? Well, I’m good for about a 10 mile stretch before I have to stop, take the shoes off and massage my feet for a few minutes, then repeat.
Using a wheel chair full-time, less exercise, sitting in front of a computer screen a minimum of forty hours a week to pay the bills, progression of an undiagnosed neurological ataxia?
These are all factors. Maybe it’s time to switch from foot pedal to hand pedal? That decision feels like a double-edged sword however as I am a firm believer in the use it or loose it mentality, and I’m afraid of the further potential fallout from not making my feet and legs pedal those circles on a regular basis. On the other hand, I was able to try a hand-cycle at our last Adaptive Cycle Clinic, and I absolutely loved it and from that brief trial, know that I would be much faster and able to return to the big rides. When do you know it’s time to jump forward to the next thing rather than trying to straddle two different things?
In an ideal world, I would hold onto the Catrike 700 and park it on the rollers in my garage to get in, maybe ten minutes of foot pedaling every day, while purchasing a hand cycle to move into the next stage of my cycling life. Although close to ideal, this life isn’t quite there and the cost of hand-cycles is up there, even more-so than my Catrike! Then again, I could just stop trying to hold onto the foot pedal power, sell the Catrike, and possibly have enough funds to pick-up a used hand cycle.
And then there’s the race chair… Sorry, that should read more appropriately. I am getting a race chair! Thanks to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, I am presently waiting, extremely impatiently, for the notification that my Top End Eliminator OSR Racing Wheelchair has been shipped and is en route. The soon coming addition of these wheels to the fleet is allowing me to post-pone the foot vs. hand decision for a brief time (actually, it’s shifting it to the hands, just postponing the equipment decision). I haven’t lost sight of my dream to paratri, but I don’t think it’s going to happen with pedaling my Catrike (I’m actually missing an opportunity to participate in the Race the River triathlon this coming weekend for lack of a hand cycle), not when my feet start demanding a break 10 miles in.
That’s okay though, I’ll get there, and in the meantime, I can’t get enough of the race chair and am trying to pour my physical energy that direction. Actually, I got into the race chair as a means to compete in paratri, but the more I’ve been pushing, I think that my future holds track competition as the highlight, with paratri as a side-show.
As always, stay tuned for more and thank you for reading, and supporting. It’s helpful for me to write out some of the thought process encountered along my journey of ataxia.