Day 3 – A&E
I set off feeling stiff, unable to stretch my right leg properly because my knee hurt too much. I wondered how much pain you’re supposed to “push through”, thinking about Matt Baker and John Bishiop cycling for Sport/Comic relief, and the pain they pushed through. after about a mile we hit a pretty small hill, and as the tears streamed down my cheeks i decided that was probably enough.
Yesterday every single turn of the pedals hurt, which is about 80 per minute, and we did 97 miles. the thought of doing that again today, around the Cheddar Gorge region and up into the Forest of Dean was too much, and the pain had me worried about doing long-term damage.
I overheard the conversation between doctor and consultant in A&E, it went along the lines of “how far? over 90!? and again the next day! so 200 miles since sunday? well no wonder he’s in hospital!” so that put things in perspective!
The advice is not to ride, which is not what i wanted to hear at all. the good news is by stopping now i avoid long term damage, so i don’t risk being able to cycle, ski and surf again, i want my knees to be good! but to watch the last year’s training, planning, and purchasing equipment get washed down the drain because of a stupid knee injury is utterly devastating. the support i’ve had has been incredible, both from friends and family, random strangers and from the team on the ride. i feel like i’ve let everyone down, but i know that it’s not something i could avoid, and i couldn’t have done any more.
when we get to a hill the boys go “right it’s a hill, i’ll have to push harder”. I’m already giving it my all, i’ve got nothing more to give. I’m in awe of my team mates, and their superior fitness, and gutted that i can’t match them.
I’m also reminded of Aloysios in Uganda, whose charity I’m raising money for. He gives ALL of himself ALL of the time for these kids. When i spend time with him i feel at a loss for what to do, how to respond to this amazing man. well I’ve given all of myself, the boys want me to carry on in the van, I’ll sleep on it and consider the best thing to do from here. watch this space. and please pray for my knees, i’m pretty discouraged that it’s come to this. thank you