Suck it up princess

Life can be tough, and as humans many of us seem to dwell on the negative. I know I can fall into this.

Sure, there are negative things around us everyday, but when I concentrate on them with my only thoughts being grumpy complaints about how I wish things were better, I get sucked further into the hole. On the other hand, if I try to figure out how to make the best of a situation, negative or not, things turn around on their own.

So, why am I rambling on like a want-to-be philosopher?

Three days before I was scheduled to leave for a month of mountain biking in southern California, I was goofing around with my kids in the park. One minute we were laughing and running around in the grass, the next minute I was lying in a heap wondering how any human can experience so much pain and live to tell about it.

It was a simple slip in the grass, but the landing blew my shoulder out … again.

Within seconds, I had zero mobility in my shoulder, I couldn’t move my arm, and it hurt to wiggle my fingers. I didn’t say anything, but I must have gone a few shades paler, because Chenoa looked at me kind of funny and just asked, “Should you go to the hospital?”

Last time I did this, it was three weeks before I could even hold onto my handle bars, never mind ride trails. My first thoughts were to cancel the trip. Why travel all that way and spend all that energy if I can’t ride, but the next morning I decided to make the best of it, riding or no riding.

The kids love the beach, Chenoa loves the riding, and maybe four weeks of vitamin D would be good rehab.

Six days later we arrived in California and set up camp. Chenoa headed out for a great ride and I hung out on the beach. I stretched, I massaged, I slammed a bunch of ibuprofen, and decided that a bit of pain was a good thing. Instead of avoiding riding, I should use it to strengthen my shoulder.

Mountain biking was definitely not on the menu, but the next day I did a 50km road ride and the longer I rode, the better my shoulder felt.

And to think, I almost gave up a week earlier and threw in the towel. Now with a bit of persistence, and a few beer to lube the joint, I am going to have three weeks of awesome road riding in the sun. Yep, life sucks sometimes, but that’s normal, it’s how you handle it that makes it negative or positive.

I’m James Durand and I’m Going’ Ridin’…