A Touch Painful on Re-entry

Uprooting your existing life and relocating anywhere takes some degree of readjusting, as you find somewhere to live, get your bearings in your new surrounds, find the essentials, such as the closest and best coffee shop, settle into a new job and meet new people. It’s not an easy task, but one that you take in your stride as you embrace the challenge of the new and undiscovered. However, if your experience of relocating saw you returning to a familiar place, where you could walk back into a familiar work environment, you already had fabulous friends who would do things such as collect you from the airport at 1:00am, and your wonderful wife had done the tedious task of house hunting, moving and unpacking, you would assume that your relocation would be relatively readjustment-free. Despite the above being the scenario for Cycling Hubby, he has still experienced great difficulty settling back into the ‘normality’ of the real world. Having spent a year ‘living the dream’ of cycling internationally, the concept of doing anything other than cycle, travel, eat or sleep has become slightly foreign to Cycling Hubby, as he familiarises himself with things such as work, he is finding himself having to iron out a few bumps along the way. The biggest adjustment for Cycling Hubby has been the return to work, which has meant having to use his legs to do something other than pedal, or rest horizontally on a bed or couch. Returning to work in the bike store requires him to be upright and standing for most of the day. However, if I know CH as well as I think I do, he would be grabbing every opportunity, and thinking of every reason under the sun to be able to steal just a moment of ‘sitting down’ time. Reintroducing his legs to this thing we call ‘standing’, has wreaked havoc on his poor legs, to the point where he has secretly been wearing compression socks to work to try alleviate some of the ‘pain’ and ‘swelling’ he is feeling. Never before have I seen someone male so worried about their cankles. Not only is his return to a day job affecting his legs, but it is also eating into time he had previously dedicated to cycling. The leisurely 11:00am starts for a day of riding are a thing of the past, as Cycling Hubby retrains his body to rise at the crack of dawn, to join all the other cyclists, who hold down day jobs, and head out for a roll, before preparing for a day at work. His realisation of this came when he very reluctantly sent a text out to fellow riders asking who would join him for a ride at 6:30am. His reluctance was because he was horrified at having to get up that early. The response from his fellow riders was a universal ‘I can’t make it – it’s too late’. Because of the tight schedule of work and riding, great sacrifices are being made in the sleep department, where Cycling Hubby has had to give up not only his sleep-ins, but his routine of having an afternoon beer, followed by a nanna nap. His new lifestyle sees him having to stay awake for many more hours of the day than he has been used to this year. So by the time he drags his feet through the door at the end of the day, he is starving and exhausted. Needless to say, he plonks himself at the table and inhales his dinner before crawling into bed, moaning about having to get up so early the following day. A return to the real world has meant Cycling Hubby has left behind a team of people who have looked after him for most of the year, including a masseuse, a bike mechanic and a coach. Cycling Hubby has made endless attempts at trying to woo me into becoming his personal masseuse, to which I politely respond that I could only accept the position on the condition that I get a massage in return. This is not quite the scenario he had hoped for and he retreats out of the negotiation process, as he realises he may need to let go of his dream of having a team of people at his beck and call. Slowly but surely Cycling Hubby’s body is adjusting and getting a grasp on his new reality, however this hasn’t come easily, nor without some disgruntled whinging. Thankfully there are a few regular daily rituals that have continued on from his previous life, such as coffee and cycling that are helping him through this difficult time. So as you read this, you may want to take a little time to spare a thought for the struggles that Cycling Hubby has had to go through in relocating back to Australia. He really is doing it pretty tough don’t you think?


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