Thursday, January 15, 2009


In life, we encounter, if planned or not, pain. Some people like pain, depending on what form it takes.
Emotional pain, I would say is one of the hardest to endure. Being (trying) a competitive cyclist, or in the fact that my plans this year include a 24hour Solo race, I have to learn to live with pain. Physically and psychologically.

When pushing my heart rate towards the upper end of it's range, I can do this, and hold it for some time. The pain that is rushing through my body, the burn in the legs, my lungs gasping at the very edge of Oxygen debt, this I can push back to outer edge of my helmet cladded head and pursue with the task in hand.

Today, I came across a different type of pain. One that I have to say, I've never really encountered before. Coming from the UK, we are bought up with the rain, and the wind, and during the worst times, wind and rain. This can chill you to the bone.

Now, I am in Beijing. Since I am busy now (for a change) I have to schedule my rides early. So today I went out at 8am. Besides having to dodge cyclists traveling at 3km/hr (how do they stay up?) and car drivers not looking, so that they squeeze an extra 1cm of movement forward in their completely, your not going forward for at least 30minutes traffic jam, I cycled out in -14c.
Now my cycling shoes are great for the Summer, very well ventilated, but not so good for the winter. Even with 3 pairs of socks on, my toes were suffering. So much so, that it was hurting. How bad did it hurt? So bad, that I cycled directly home, not even stopping for a coffee along the way (and if you know me, that's something really big!).
Then I thought the pain had finished, no way had the pain finished. What no-one tells you, is that, not only does near frost bitten tootsies hurt, but warming them up, is a completly another level of pain. I didn't know whether to hop, cradle, walk fast on the spot or what, this, with me whining like a cat with no food for weeks.
I decided on turning on the shower, (very hot, so that it warms to floor first) the reducing the temp, so that I could shower anyway. Tingling, pins and needles, stand aside, this is going to be a flood of sensations.

Anyway, feet are good now, I will have to look at the weather temp tomorrow am, to see if I am brave (read stupid) enough to go out in it.

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