Splif, Zen & backpain

Not riding is killing me, ok maybe I won’t die through lack of pedalling but there’s a shift in my mental state and it’s not a happy one. Not being active really is knocking me off a little.

Physical pain I’m rather cool with, and I’m not saying that because I’m some hard arse in the making or trying to be some sort of personal hero but I really do am able to suck it up and it’s something I think that stems from those bloody awful days walking in the pissing rain up bloody hills as a teen in the cadets and Duke of Edinburgh Award, both of which I’d recommend to anyone, then there was my time with fell rescue which was super cool but and getting into rock climbing was a life changer and as soon as Mr Marsh gets stuck in and repairs my back I’d quite like to go back to it.

The thing with physical pain is it’s all relative, that “ on a scale of 1-10 what’s your pain” is stupid because my biggest pain was getting hit by a car a few years ago; now that really did hurt I’d say about an 9. It’s easy to visualise a crash like that and to think about what it would be like but you’ll never appreciate the pain until you experience it.

Really I think there are two types of pain, there’s that pain you don’t welcome which would be the crash and then the pain you submit to; the pain that you accept as a product of your desires. Now you might think I’m thinking about being a bit sexy pervy but really I’m thinking about the lactic acid that burns through your legs and you will and want to climb a hill makes you fight through your body’s need to stop and you hit the zone where your body rewards you with all of those lovely sensations and that awesome sense of achievement.

I threw my back out in 2014 and had an injection, the same injection they’d offer me again this year until someone explained my spinal health to me. My back pain when it kicks in has been so great I‘ve passed out. For the eighteen months I’ve managed the pain through weed, Pilates, osteopathy, acupuncture and whatever less I could remember if I wasn’t so stoned right now.

Spine wise I have wedge fractures at T12 and T3, degeneration at T4, Compression L4/L5, with herniation and fragmentation of L5/S1, I also have onset of osteoporosis. It’s the fragmentation that was putting them off surgery but after a well written strongly worded email.

The pain in my back right now is so intense, and so unwanted. The surgeons has said I’ll never be pain free just anything is better than this, stabbing pain send crippling cramps down my hams and through my calf and into my foot. I have the general daily nag which is sort of like the last day of your average DOMS then I have this compression pain so sitting, even on a cushion hurts. Laying down hurts, when I stand I get stabbing pains in my hip, lower back and knee, However relatively speaking it’s not the worst it’s ever been.

Up until recently I’d just been spinning along in Zwift but I can’t even do that because if I can’t sit on something squidgy I haven’t got a hope in hell in getting on a saddle, it all I can manage to lay on the floor and stretch.

I’m finding not riding quite tricky, I don’t think it’s the riding it’s the not being able to do it and I know people can be all down on turbo trainers I found that being slightly stoned in a TT position relaxed on your elbows with your eye closed zoning out to the sound of your chain and trying to get it as one constant sound, sweat dripping on to the mat can be quite zen in a getting out of your head sort of way.

I just want to get it over with, really, while I’m looking forwar to being post recovery and riding again I can’t help but think about the practical dangers of having a geezer poking around my back like that digging out shards. I’m always been quite laid back about the surgeries I’ve had and the consultant was explicit with the worst what if.

I need a distraction


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