THE ART OF HEAL­ING

Poly­gon Bikes Malaysia am­bas­sador, Ha­jar sheds some light on how to get back on the bike

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - HOW TO - Words and pho­tos: Ha­jar Abu Bakar

In­juries are usu­ally a mat­ter of when and not if when you’re a moun­tain biker. Time off the bike due to in­jury is in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing. To­day marks the 8th week I’ve had off the bike due to a moun­tain bik­ing re­lated in­jury. It isn’t my first cy­cling in­jury, but it is one that has re­quired the long­est time for me to re­cover. Hav­ing gone through many ups and downs the past few months; here are some things I’ve learnt on my re­cov­ery jour­ney so far, ded­i­cated to my other “fallen rid­ers”.

BE PA­TIENT

It can be the most an­noy­ing ad­vice an­other per­son can give you, but it is also the most im­por­tant. The most ob­vi­ous trait I have, is to get it over and done with. But there is noth­ing worse than tak­ing un­nec­es­sary risks, re­sult­ing in even longer time away from the bike.

DON’T COM­PARE

So, an­other rider crashed the week­end you did, hurt the same part of their body AND at the very same jump… and they are back rid­ing again. Yet you can barely hold on to the han­dle­bars. It’s hard to re­sist feel­ings of anx­i­ety about be­ing be­hind in your heal­ing progress. Sim­i­larly, it’s dif­fi­cult to not beat your­self up for tak­ing longer to heal. When these feel­ings arise, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that nei­ther two in­juries are ex­actly the same, nor two peo­ple. The other rider may be younger, didn’t crash as hard or is sim­ply mak­ing fool­ish choices you should avoid while re­cov­er­ing.

Fo­cus on your own heal­ing process and steps you need to do to get bet­ter. Have lots of physio? Don’t skip your ses­sions or for­get your “home­work”.

HAVE A GOAL, STAY IN­SPIRED

When your sched­uled full re­cov­ery date seems so long away, it can be a very de­feat­ing feel­ing. Hav­ing a goal or smaller goals through­out the re­cov­ery pe­riod helped make my whole re­cov­ery process a lit­tle less daunt­ing.

I started start­ing small with things like be­ing able to dress my­self and be­ing able to walk pain free. This pro­gressed to set­ting up al­ter­na­tive ways I could get my cy­cling fix or go­ing to the trails safely. I never imag­ined I would ever have an in­door cy­cling sys­tem nor en­joy walk­ing in­stead of rid­ing my usual trails. I caught up on cy­cling videos that I book­marked and keenly fol­lowed cy­cling events that my friends were en­ter­ing.

Just re­cently; feel­ing a lit­tle op­ti­mistic, I signed up for a fun race that still gives me plenty of time to re­cover and pre­pare.

If you have the lux­ury, some new bike bling never hurts. Know­ing I had my Poly­gon Siskiu wait­ing for me at the end of the jour­ney, was def­i­nitely a boost to my spir­its...

DIS­TRACT YOUR­SELF

Some­times, watch­ing too many cy­cling videos or fol­low­ing events and friends’ rides can also prove to be more frus­trat­ing than in­spir­ing. Take a break from things that re­mind you of what you can’t do for now.

Re­mem­ber how you used to have a life, be­fore cy­cling took over? Take your sanc­tioned time off as an op­por­tu­nity to catch up on those things.

Find the books you’ve been mean­ing to read, friends and fam­ily that you prob­a­bly don’t see enough of or that DIY project you’ve been pro­cras­ti­nat­ing on. Treat your­self.

Ba­si­cally any­thing that doesn’t ex­ac­er­bate your in­jury and take your mind off what you’re miss­ing. I know I felt bet­ter when I was get­ting things done, rather than sur­ren­der­ing to the FOMO (Fear of Miss­ing Out).

So to that, I wish my fel­low in­jured rid­ers a speedy and full re­cov­ery. I hope that this helps to keep the FOMO mon­ster at bay and keep you in higher spir­its dur­ing tough times. To those out on the bikes, stay safe and en­joy on our be­half.

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