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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

If I buy a new bike, will I be too tired to ride it?

"There is a difference between interest and commitment. When your interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results". Art Turock

I was at the Multi Sport Expo on January 29th and of course we had to visit the Emery's Cycle booth to look at bikes.  My teammate Cheryl found some great deal on bike clothes.  So, while I was waiting for her to checkout, I had the one of the salesman bring a Trek Madone 5.9 off of the rack. Just to look at mind you.

The frame was a small so it was a pretty good fit.  It had a gorgeous silver and blue paint job and although it was not the women's specific model it fit pretty well. The women's model is a not so sharp pastel mint green.

This bike has electronic shifting and a carbon frame. I could lift it with one finger.  The price tag is anything but light, coming in around $5300.  Still I am looking to upgrade my road bike.

After I finish the Boston Marathon, I plan on doing the RACC duathlon series and several triathlons this summer. I will be attempting to qualify as a para triathlete for the national championships. Still trying to figure out what races and how the process all works.

Sometimes I wonder if I am worth the investment in such an expensive bike. I wonder if I am a good enough athlete to justify the expense of a fancy new bike and I wonder if I will be able to use it.

 On Sunday night I was exhausted and in bed by 6 pm. Of course I was still awake hours later. My legs were jumpy like they were being shocked. These nights are long, I took melatonin, Tylenol PM and another over the counter sleep aid.

 It was after 3 am before I fell asleep and the alarm went off at 5 am. I was so exhausted on Monday after work I couldn't work out.  I was in bed again at 6 pm. It finally took a prescription sleeping pill to get some rest.  The prescription pill is one I resort to only when I am really desperate, since they can be habit forming. I wish I could tell you I woke up feeling well rested.

It is hard to explain how my tired is different from the tiredness everyone feels. When we had storms in Milwaukee,  I often had to stay up all night at work as part of my job as a Supervisor in the Control Center at We Energies.  That kind of stay up all night tired is how I feel when I have one of these days.  I call it profound tiredness. It feels like I need to lay down and go to sleep and my body aches. It is above the normal tired I feel almost every day. 

I never miss work, in fact I haven't called in sick in almost 10 years.  But after work there are some days when it is a struggle to do anything after work, much less work out. Monday I was lucky I had an off day scheduled during the week. So I switched my off day to cover the day I couldn't work out.
This takes an emotional toll as well. I was so low emotionally on Monday night I was in tears as I struggled to sleep.

So when I get this tired, I wonder if this is the future I can look forward to. As my CMT progresses will I be too tired to ride my bike or run or do the other things I love to do?

 Right now I am still able to work out most days, even on the days I am really really tired.  So will I get a new bike?  Probably.  Will it be a Trek Madone 5.9?  Probably not, but I will get something to help me reach my next goal and I will continue to battle the CMT to be the best athlete I can be.  Will I be too tired to ride it? The answer will be yes, some days....but there are still more good days than bad days. I will cherish those good days and fight though the not so good days. That for me is what it means to be an athlete. 

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

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