Thursday, July 1, 2010

homing pigeon

after attending two spin classes this week and going for a whopping 6-mile ride on my bike two days ago, I decided to try a real ride this morning. my 6-mile ride was done in tennies because I didn't feel ready to be clipped into my pedals, not being certain of my stability.
my surgical site is healing well, and I'm able to do most everything except lift my right arm above shoulder height (doctor's orders). but I've been nervous about asking too much from that section of my body, not wanting to overtax or stress anything that's still involved in healing itself.
my ride of two days ago was just enough: I felt a little soreness in the shoulder area afterward, but it just felt like it had been used, not abused. I tried not to put much weight onto that arm, staying out of my aggressive mode. (yes, I have a little one.)
I had an offer to join a couple people this morning at 5:45 for a ride up emigration, to which I had replied are you kidding? are you trying to kill me?
instead, I slept in a bit, pulled on my biking gear and cycling shoes, clipped in, and rode up emigration.

can you feel my eyeballs rolling?

my research tells me that no one truly understands how homing or carrier pigeons do what they do. that it could have something to do with magnetic fields, or possibly the spatial distribution of atmospheric odors, or some "map and compass" system that involves the sun. a number of theories exist, and the only known fact is that these pigeons continue to find their way home one way or another. their desire and drive to return to the familiar and comfortable is embedded deep within their dna, and not much thwarts them in their quests.

my bike, this morning, played the role of carrier pigeon. ruby wasn't carrying a message to anyone, though, she was carrying me to a familiar destination which appears to be something of a second home to me. I left my driveway uncertain of my path (only that it would be gentle and I would be careful and cautious), and found that I couldn't stop my chariot from turning right onto Logan, turning left on 23rd, crossing Foothill, turning right onto Beacon, left on Wasatch . . . and following what was known, what was familiar, up to the top of little mountain summit.

I survived: I was cognizant of every little rock/pebble/twig/piece of flotsam in my path, and I slowed more than usual around downhill curves. my shoulder felt relatively fine, and my leg muscles complained very little. on the way uphill I was concerned about going downhill, wondering if I would throw caution like a cape around my body. the answer was that I did, and I feel that cape, but it is ultralight and super thin, and it didn't hinder me much at all.

the canyon hasn't changed too much in two weeks, and it's unique position relative to the sun, the electromagnetic field, and olfactory markers enabled me to find it quite easily, honing in on the place that makes me feel, well, at home.

2 comments:

Tyler said...

Wow! Congratulations! I can't believe you're already back at it. I'm jealous. The sport I injured myself on is rock climbing back in early May and I still haven't been able to get back to it yet. But I'm going on a short hike with my two children today.

You inspire me. Maybe I should be taking them rock climbing instead. They've asked me to take them again, but my doctor said I could do anything I wanted, as long as it didn't hurt. Maybe I'm being too cautious?

susan said...

okay, my doctor said the same thing, and when I asked him what to do if it did start to hurt he replied, Listen to your body. which meant, to me, cut back if it hurts, but go for it if you feel okay.
I had to push to get back to it for fear that if I sat out too long I'd realize I liked being a couch potato and would never want to ride again . . .