Things are not quite as they seem

Despiteappearances, this is not some kind of sex toy with a built in satisfaction meter. No, it’s a rather more humdrum instrument for measuring lung capacity in litres/minute. That score represents a 20{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} improvement for me after a week of imbibing the steroid ‘donkey-stunners’. Although as a high water mark, it’s not that impressive, being at least 300 less than normal.

‘Normal’ constituting a respiratory system that doesn’t hacking cough and wheeze through the day, supported by multiple hits on the ‘pipe opener’ propellant and accompanied by swearing. Normal means running up stairs, attacking anything hilly with more than an old persons shuffle, and riding bikes with your friends without the worry of carrying a mobile oxygen tent.

Eventually boredom kicked in and I took the Mouse-Lung out for a ride. Lung-Fungus or not, the chance to go play in the woods on a sunny spring day was more than worth the risk of swapping riding for walking on the climbs. And it was fine. Mostly. The best way to describe that 45km ride with some 800 metres of vertical was magic.

Contextual words include muddy, slippy, tired, gasping and strolling. Absolutely no problem getting my heart rate up as smaller lungfulls of air needed greater oxygenation. No problem with 3 week unridden muscles, orrememberinghow to point the bike around corners. But once aerobic switched toanaerobic, everyone else cleared off into the distance and I hacked up behind just glad to be out.

Two rather obvious conclusions were reached; one was how fantastic it was to be riding bike with my friends again. Secondly how damn good my bike is – riding the same bike two or three times a week ensures you begin to take it for granted. Three weeks off and it’s like rediscovering an old friend who you’ve not seen for a while, and he’s buying the beer. It felt like coming home.

I suffered the next day. But I knew that was likely and happily paid the price for a few hours doing what I love. There have been a few times lately when the dark of the night was mirrored by a nagging horror that maybe things weren’t going to improve. Silly of course, as it’s not the first time I’ve been struck down by a nasty dose of asthma and it won’t be the last. But try telling yourself that at 3am in the morning with only the bedroom ceiling for company.

In the midst of all this angst and woe-is-me, I somehow managed to impress a client enough to be offered a three month project starting today in the joyous environs of Redditch. Obviously I’m extremely pleased about this for all sorts of reasons, many of them involved with continued eating, but also I notice that there looks to be a possible commute from Bromsgrove and some cheeky looking woods that must hide some quality night riding.

It’s an obsession I know. Hopefully a slightly healthier obsession that late. On a lung and prayer, I’m going in.

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