Anger Displacement.

I’m going to give a shootout to Gnat for his blog post today.  I follow a lot of bike blogs, and a lot of bike-related blogs, and usually read them for bike component reviews, trip reviews, and related miscellany.

I had previously posted that I was looking forward to a century ride on Sunday, which I was planning on completing as a sub-5 adventure with a group of friends.  Much to my chagrin, I awoke on Saturday morning feeling a bit crummy.  By 1pm, I was sporting a 102 degree fever and felt as if I had been mildly beaten about the body with a baseball bat.  By 4pm, the feeling was more akin to having been severely beaten.  I assure you, no actual beatings occurred.  I wasn’t really eating, but was still contemplating and scheming ways to make the ride.  At midnight, my fever was still over 102, and I hadn’t eaten anything of any consequence.

At 5am on Sunday, my fever was right around 100 degrees, and I thought I could eat some breakfast.  For a moment, I contemplated getting geared up and going.  I seriously, seriously contemplated it.  I ended up deciding that the only thing worse than missing the ride would be going and holding back the guys I was riding with, and abandoned.  I spent the rest of Sunday where I had spent Saturday, on the couch, popping Tylenol for fever management, and trying to choke down some food.  I was also trying to choke down the bitter feelings I had about missing a ride that I had really wanted to make–that was really important to me.  I didn’t have a choice about missing the ride–this illness, whatever it was, wasn’t dietary induced and wasn’t the product of any choices I had made…it was just a random illness.  And yet I was angry.  Angry about its timing, its severity, its consequences.

I awoke this morning, feeling much better, fever gone, and prepared to head off to work.  I saw Gnat’s post, and I’m not sure exactly why, but it triggered a little glimmer of thought in me, that perhaps I should feel lucky.  With recent changes in my life, I’m self-employed.  While I could have accommodated a severe illness on a work day, it would have been challenging.  It would have been far more challenging to have a 102 fever on Monday than it was to have it on Saturday.  So while I missed the bike ride, I was really, really lucky to have been sick when I was, and healthy now.

Moreover, I was/am really lucky to have the wife/partner/best friend that I do.  In the foreword of my book, I wrote that she stands in front of me when I need protection, behind me when I need encouragement, and beside me as my partner at all other times.  This weekend, she did a little of each of those roles.  And I’m insanely lucky that she found my masculine wiles to be irresistible.  Without her, I wouldn’t be successful in any of my exploits.

So perhaps this wasn’t what Gnat was talking about exactly…but his post caused me to stop for a minute and have some perspective on this past weekend.  I missed the ride, but didn’t miss work.  I felt terrible, but had the unending support of my wife.  So by the law of unintended consequences, thanks, Gnat.

There will be more rides.

Speaking of rides, the group from NCC that I had planned on riding with did make the ride, and did lock it down as planned.  Way to go, guys…


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