medial collateral ligament. or at least, that's what medical professionals would call it.
it might even be the medial meniscus.
whatever it is, it is the chink in my armor, the achilles heel of my knee, the frust in my ration. and i came to equate it yesterday with all things that could have been heralded as independence and the romance of the open road and the rapha-esque epic of doing something totally stupid in adverse weather conditions just for the sake of doing something totally stupid in adverse weather conditions. it became truly epic when my knee started to throb and my thoughts went almost as numb as my toes and i wished for more windproof material over my genitals and wondered if mississauga would ever end, though it was a mystery as to where it ever began.
this is the week and weekend of independence. there are few helpers, and due to their scarcity, they must be preserved for only the most dire of needs - the ones for which we don't get paid if we don't oblige. so i had one helper one night this week and it was perfect and amazing and i couldn't have asked for anything more. bathed, fed, happy children in bed and asleep by the time i get home? amazing. then there was the epic challenge of getting to streetsville for 09:30 when daycare doesn't open until 07:30 and there's snow on the forecast and no car in the driveway. streetsville, for anyone who doesn't know, which is probably most people considering its geography, is in the middle of nowhere. it is exactly 23.8 miles of headwind, bad road, rolling hills, industrial wasteland, and suburban sprawl away from the coziness of a drafty little home in toronto, and i found a version of myself there.
i had forgotten about this self. this self of no pain, no gain. this person willing to put everything on his own shoulders, blame no one outright but come to the fardel with equal parts disappointment in having so much to do and utter determination to do it no matter what. this self would go the distance, or die (or have his genitals and extremities lost to frostbite while) trying. this self was a bit dumb, and a lot driven, and this self got to streetsville long after the soft, efficient, well-thought-out-and-put-together self turned back.
it was a long ride.
as my feet burned and ached with thawing, my knee began to throb after the repetitive effort. and instead of feeling elated that i had accomplished something ridiculous, that i had beaten odds and the possibility of giving up, i was worried. in 6 days i enter a new decade of my age. my body is starting to fail. i have to see specialists to heal. and even the no-impact of riding extremely slowly for miles into the wind makes my knee throb like it did after 13.1 miles of rending a new self. i'm hoping for recovery. i'm looking forward to pain-free running at speed, the way it was in july. i'm eager to get on a bike and hammer it back to mississauga, back into the wind, with nothing throbbing but my veins.