Since I ruptured my Achilles in May I've lost count of the “getting a bit old for that, aren’t we?” comments. Should I stop dreaming obsessively about riding and focus on earning more money like proper grown ups do? While injured and unable to ride I've had the opportunity to experience living that way and its simply not for me. I've also experienced clients who hate working so much and spend all their hard earned money on on cheering themselves up.
As most of you know I have Asperger's, which despite being a fantastic tool for learning all I need to about health, also comes with a few downsides. The biggest issue I suffer from is anxiety especially in social situations. Its at its worst when I'm being questioned, criticized or other work based situations. I'm obviously fine when talking about health related stuff or bikes, but throw in a few questions about normal social interaction, such as "what have you done today?" Or "how many clients have you seen?" and I'm a mess.
Normal daily interactions such as the recent rioting, economic decline or last nights soaps mean very little to me and I have little or nothing to say about them. Without riding I'm even more anxious and obsessive. Riding (and studying health) is a calming mediative activity for me and it keeps me on the straight and narrow.
If I gave up riding what would I replace it with? I could take up our national hobby of drinking beer. I could just sit and watch TV and steadily grow older, fatter and sicker. Riding is my medication and I need it, sure I'm addicted to riding bikes and motorbikes but its infinitely more healthy than a sedentary life both physically and mentally.
Before you suggest that I take up a less dangerous activity, take a look at your own activities. Yes I may get the odd injury from time to time but your alcohol, poor food and slumping in front of the TV is gradually eating away at your health. Would I rather have the odd broken bone or face relentless evenings in the pub followed by my later years being full of ill-health and regrets? No question really, bikes win hands down.