Yesterday I left home on the bike, equipped for a day out, with no specific destination in mind. I felt like exploring down a little side road I always pass on my way to Newry when I go shopping.
This was my first serious trip after a layoff with a tendon injury. In this two-week period, I was also struck down by the worst cold I’d had in a very long time. My body, therefore, was not the eager, willing participant on the trip that it usually is.
Legs groaned in protest before we’d even left the boundaries of Dundalk. The whole biological machine complained ceaselessly from the word go. Every kilometre gained was a result of sheer obstinate insistence.
I ended up cycling along a very narrow, obscure little path to Jonesborough, from there to Forkhill and on to Crossmaglen. After two cups of tea, a good rest and the application of some Deep Heat spray, I set off back home. It would have been roughly 18km directly back to Dundalk, but I chose to retrace my route and cycled about 43km back instead.
When I finally made it home I was shattered. Yet the question that had plagued my mind along the trip was put to bed. It was the familiar old ground-out rhetoric: why am I doing this to myself? The answer came not in words. Not in pictures. It came in the slow-trickling satisfaction permeating my soul.
Total distance: 86.57km