Favorite Quote

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
-Randy Pausch

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blue Ridge Extreme!

I have officially been in remission for a little over a month!  Life has returned to normal, and I've been able to do a lot of what I love best...riding my bike!  Cycling has been very therapeutic for me throughout my young adult life.  Most notably, cycling has helped me deal with my illness.  It has taken me nearly two years to adjust to life with Crohn's Disease.  The hardest adjustment is realizing that I have no control over the war going on in my gut.  I have finally learned to give up control, which was very difficult!  It has been hard to realize and accept the fact that at any given moment my disease can decide to act up, and I'm simply along for the ride.  Hello, it's my body, I should have control...right?  Wrong.  Not with Crohn's.  Nonetheless cycling has helped me stay mentally strong and keep the faith, and that's something the disease can't touch.  The latest flare was the hardest for me because I did everything right and still flared.  I did everything right with the exception of accepting my disease for what it is.  During my flare-up, it literally took all of my energy to ride 30 minutes.  This was a shock to me because I was easily able to ride 3 hours before flaring, but like I said, it is what it is.  All that mattered was that I was able to ride on my *good* days, though it wasn't much.  It wasn't much, but it was enough to clear my head and give me the strength to realize that no matter how bad it got, I would eventually get better.
The pic above was taken a few weeks ago, during a cycling trip to Williamsburg.  I am finally strong enough to climb, which is not only my strength, but my favorite aspect of cycling.  That is why I have decided to do the Blue Ridge Extreme Century this year.  It's a brutal course, with more than 11,000 feet of climbing with Cat 1 and Cat 2 climbs (eek)!   This ride will definitely show me what I'm made of, and more importantly prove the point that I refuse to let this damn disease control my life.  Hell, if I can get on the bike during a flare, this definitely should not be a problem (don't worry mom, I'll be fine)!  I have a lot of work to do, but riding my bike is what I love best, so I'll be ready.  I have decided to postpone participating in the GYGIG ride until next year, so stay tuned!  

1 comment:

Mandy said...

emma! come visit at the wilmington crit! we'll have a blast. i'm doing the monkey hill time trial the day before; betchya could get in if you emailed the promoter.
all that crap aside, i found you through my teammate liz's blog. i've combed through your posts: YOU are an inspiration! way to go, chica! every damnn day i can walk/ride/smile is a gift; you see it as such as well because you have seen what it feels like to be without it. keep up the awesome spirit. i wish you all the best in the world. maybe i'll see you at some races sometime...that is if i get my arse out there and race. hm..