The body is an amazing thing, isn't it? We can beat the crap out of it and, in the end, it generally just comes back stronger. Sometimes it takes a while, but it's pretty resilient.
The challenge is that the older we get, the longer it seems to take to heal from the bumps and bruises of the world.
I'm dealing with a bit of that right now. As I do every spring. A winter's worth of riding is hard on the body. From the cold to the extra drag of riding with so many clothes on to the beating the legs take trying to power through the different snow conditions.
By spring I'm usually both much stronger than I was in the fall, but also in serious need of some time out to pasture.
This spring has been no different. I'm feeling my nearly forty years of abuse. But maybe even more so as I've recently been trying to learn the physics of flight with trajectories over the handlebars. The lessons are painful and I'm a slow learner. Though I won't complain too much. Hatcher Pass, specifically Gold Mint valley and the Archangel Road area are some beautiful areas to learn that snow adheres to the laws of fluid dynamics or something. It can be so soft that the front wheel of a vehicle, say a bicycle, can completely and instantaneously disappear, thus causing an abrupt and catastrophic transfer of motion from vehicle to rider of said vehicle, yet so hard that when said rider makes his short flight over the handlebars to land on his head in said snow, it acts in a similar fashion as concrete. No give. No bounce. Painful results.
These are the risks I take, dear reader, to get my kicks. To get outdoors. To prove that I'm not dead yet and that forty means nothing to me.
Like I said, though, the body is resilient. I will heal from these injuries I've brought upon myself. Just like my body's adapted to the demands of commuting by bike. It seems really cool that each day my bike reminds me that I can adapt and overcome, that I can do so much more, both mentally and physically, than I ever thought possible.