You know what’s strange? Coming to grips with losing biking as I’ve known it for the last 15+ years feels almost exactly the same as a breakup. Maybe grief is just grief.

As I’m processing through this, I have to accept that I’m not ready to be done with being a performance athlete. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my biking buddies. I’m not ready to lose the stability of a routine I’ve maintained in essentially the same form for nearly all my adult life.

Not ready, but able. I can live a happy, fulfilled, joyful, active, healthy life without biking and all its routines.

I look forward to having more flexibility in my schedule. All these years, I’ve scheduled around biking: “Sure, I’d love to get together, could we do it on Thursday or Friday?” (Because Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I go for rides, obvs.) At least half, and sometimes more, of every Saturday I dedicated to my long ride, even preferring to schedule vacations or other activities to preserve my long ride.

And, of course, I’ll just have more time, because whatever I do probably won’t take 10 to 15 hours a week.

I look forward to being healthier. Yes, during the summer season, I whip into fantastic biking shape. But from a more holistic perspective, biking drives a caloric demand I could barely keep up with. Lately it’s turned into a deficit, and that’s just meant weight loss — for me, a bad thing. Plus, There’s so much research that 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily contributes to the best long-term health outcomes. Double plus, all women (and especially anorexic ones like me) should do a good amount of weight-bearing activity to build bone density.

All this knowledge exists in my brain already. I’ve just never been able to transition to applying that knowledge. Maybe this is the only way it would ever happen — involuntarily.

I hope so.

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