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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Over My Head


"Everyone Knows I'm in over my head"- The Fray

The words to that song by The Fray came through load and clear on my iPod last Thursday morning. After a night in Computrainer class  I felt completely in over my head too and it wasn't a good feeling.

A few weeks ago I signed up for a five month indoor biking class. My bike leg is the weakest part of my triathlon and I decided the off season was the perfect time to work on it.  I know I need to improve because the competition is going to continue to improve at Nationals in Austin.

The Computrainer is putting your bike on a stand and it is hooked up to a computer. It tells you how fast you are going and your power rating in watts among some other numbers. All sound good right, except your number is posted on a very large screen in the front of the class. So everyone sees it. I knew exactly how I measured up. As an engineer I am all about numbers and I don't like it when I don't measure up.

Last week we did a time trial and I came in last among 12 students.  I was at least 2 mph and a lot of power less a cyclist then everyone in the class.

That was not the worst part. I feel like a complete newbie. Everyone in the class has taken it before. Most of them are iron man competitors. They all know each other and what they are doing. I don't even know how to put my bike on the stand or set up the software.

Everyone in the class has been nice and helpful.  Both weeks guys in the class helped my get my bike set up. It just seems everyone know this but me and I am the slowest kid in the class. This discomfort is all in my head. That doesn't make it any less painful.

It is just like school gym class. I feel like I don't belong. Being a competitive runner for years, I know the routine and just what to do. I don't like the feeling of not knowing what I'm doing.

We were doing drills where you pedal with only one leg. The coach came along to correct my foot. It was pointing down, because of my foot drop that is what my feet do.   She kept telling me to pull back, but I don't have the flexibility to do that.  How I just want to be normal like all the other students in the class.

So all around I had a bad night.  I felt completely out of my league. I thought I would fit in at Nationals, but told I was"too strong and not disabled enough."  Yet I don't really fit in with other athletes either. I am living in the land between.

My coach tells me not to compare myself to others and she is right.  But there is an even bigger issue here.

Fear of not keeping up has kept me from joining group rides and runs.  Sometimes I let that fear of being in over my head get the best of me. Not this time. I am going back tomorrow night and every Wednesday night for the next 5 months.  The motto my trainer for this class sends on her email says..".If it doesn't challenge you it won't change you".  That's why I'm there. I don't just want to be good enough to win a National Championship in  Austin. I want to be the best I can possibly be. I want to show others with CMT what they can do and to never give in to their CMT, even if that means sometimes being in over your head.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I hope the next few weeks are fun and helpful! I try not to see my accommodations as giving in to CMT, but rather compromises with CMT. My body fights a hard battle every single day given all my weakness and mixed signals. Self-care will help it last longer. By all means, have a great time with races and biking. Adventures await!