Conclusions: The Injuries

Ever been in the shower or getting changed and look down at a part of your body and think, “how did I get that giant bruise? Wouldn’t I remember an impact big enough to cause that?!” So have I. In fact, this past month and a half new bruises, scrapes, and bumps have been showing up on the daily and most of them I have no idea where they came from. There have been some exceptions.

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I have, overall, been lucky (*knock wood*) in this journey. I didn’t take any massive spills, break anything, require stitches, and my “never had a nosebleed” record is still intact. While I did take a few tumbles, I was always able to walk away a little wiser and with a couple of scrapes.  Even those around me learned some lessons like when I say to Ryan, “hey can you go behind me with the GoPro?  There’s a jump I’m going to try to clear!” he should ask which jump any why I think I’ll be able to clear it.

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A big worry of mine when starting my 45 days was that I would injure myself partway through and not be able to finish. Luckily, this was not the case for me. When you watch videos of races and professionals you can see the tumbles that they take and you hear the extent of their injuries. Hell, even Ryan has broken his femur! It makes for quite the wake up call in terms of how dangerous this sport can be and I keep that at the back of my mind whenever I think about doing something a little dodgy. Sometimes we need to be brave to conquer something we’re scared of, but we never need to be reckless and stupid.

So, while I’m certain I’ll continue to get knocked around, I hope that my injuries will remain bumps and bruises and not needing a trip to the ER. I haven’t broken any bones yet and I will certainly try to keep it that way. Be safe, everybody!

Conclusions: My Body

Honestly, I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to share this one.  I’m still not, I suppose, but here it is anyway.  It’s very nerve wracking to literally expose what stays neatly tucked away in black clothing.  I know a lot of co-workers and friends read this so if any of you have any particular issues with seeing me in basically what a bikini would cover then I suggest skipping this one and not looking at the picture below.

I wasn’t sure what would happen to my body during my 45 days of riding.  Is 6 weeks long enough to really make a difference?  I have been struggling with my weight for a while now (I went back to school a few years ago and all those burgers for lunch and sitting around really stacked up against me!) and since I’ve been so busy I haven’t made a priority of getting more fit.  This challenge was definitely the jumping off point to see how far I can push myself for my goals.  While I didn’t really measure and weigh out all my food and track macros and everything, I did make an effort to eat better than I have been and all of the time spent on the trails provided hours and hours every day which I couldn’t spend mindlessly eating on the couch which helped.

After all was said and done, I lost around 10 pounds and about 9 inches. 

I felt more fit.  Muscles were popping out all over the place (hello, triceps!)  My whole body felt more firm and that little pooch that used to hang over my belt went away.

The trick now is to find some balance while still maintaining the progress I’ve made and get even closer to my fitness goals.  If I’ve proved anything at all to myself in this journey it’s that I can do anything I put my mind to.  Getting even more fit to be better on my bike and in my skin is just another challenge I have in front of me.  Look forward to more updates with embarrassing pictures as I power through these new goals just like I did my 45 days.  Happy trails, everyone.

Conclusions: The Tan

We’ll start on a lighthearted note here. Out of all the unintended repercussions of this 45 day journey, this one is arguably the most ridiculous. It’s something I’ve teased others for in the past but got a whole heap of karma sent my way. That is: the tan.

I’ve never been one to be very sunscreen-minded. Especially living in the Pacific Northwest when we get way more rain than sun. But even when it’s cold and cloudy those UV rays are out there and ready to toast you up. This experienced has definitely made me rethink how often I’m putting sunscreen on.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “oh, Sarah, you just got a bit of colour. What’s so bad about a tan?” Let me tell you! All of my time outside was spent with very specific equipment on. The result? The craziest tan lines ever! I have a lovely line from T-shirt sleeve to the top of my elbow pad. Then on my forearm from elbow down to glove. Did I mention my elbow pads are slanted on the forearm? Yeah, I didn’t notice that either.

The best part is yet another thing I didn’t notice which is the keyhole in my gloves near the thumb. That has resulted in a spectacular and symmetrical tan dot on each hand. When I first noticed them I thought I’d gotten a very strange bruise on both of my hands. Nope! Attack of the tan lines.

So when you’re headed out there, put on your sunscreen, even if it looks cloudy out. Not only will it protect you from ridiculous tan lines but, more importantly, it’ll protect you from the more serious consequences of sun exposure. Happy trails, folks!

45 Days Later…

It’s (just past) 45 days later and I’ve survived my challenge. Forgive me for not updating right away but I’ve been enjoying the sweet, sweet nothingness…. and going back to full-time work hours.

I won’t lie, some days it was extremely hard. It seemed impossible. Other days I was giddy just to get out on my bike. During the whole process I have been keeping some notes that I was planning on putting into one post at the end but it seems like it’d be a short novel if I combined it all into one. To that end, I’ll actually be splitting it up into little bite-sized posts over the next week or two.

I have some videos for you, pictures as always, and some fun and funny stories about my journey. I hope you all enjoy reading about it as much as I (mostly) enjoyed doing it.