Dr. Shark Tank

On my second weekend of laying on the sofa instead of riding, I was engrossed in a marathon of “Shark Tank” episodes on CNBC.

Before this past weekend, I was encouraged by the sense that my back, which I hurt the week before, was improving. By Thursday night, I was thinking that I might be able to join the Sac TNT team for training on Saturday morning after missing the previous weekend. This sense of optimism came crashing down on Friday morning, as I re-aggravated my back pain when I put down a full laundry basket of finally-cleaned clothes. A sharp pain jabbed me in the back and put me back to square one. I became slightly nauseous and a little dizzy. When I regained my composure after a few moments, it was clear that my big comeback would need to wait. I’d have to go back to resting again. I was very uncomfortable the rest of Friday, and I made an appointment to see my doctor (who I haven’t met yet) for Monday afternoon.

So, for the second week, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday resting on the sofa. On Sunday, I passed a lot of time by watching serial episodes of Shark Tank, in awe of people’s passions and pitches of their dreams, and of the critical eyes of the Sharks as they evaluated each novel proposal. People out there really do interesting things.

During one business pitch around a laundry basket that is designed to help people with bad backs (invented by an ex-NFL player), Mark Cuban shared that he had two herniated discs in his back as a result of playing sports. Laying out on my heating pad, I googled “herniated discs” to learn more. I recognized a lot of the symptoms, and saw that it was something that could require six to eight weeks of recovery time if no surgery was required. It could involve medication, cortisone shots and/or physical therapy. On my second week of this bad back now, this prognosis wasn’t great. If I have a herniated disc and I’m out eight weeks, this could put me into mid-April before I can ride again and I’ll have missed a significant amount of training for AMBBR.

On the plus side, it does leave me about 7-8 weeks training time for AMBBR. If I can get back to training by April, I may be able to re-join the team in some capacity, or train on my own, but I’ll be able to go through with the ride and honor the donations of support I received for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But, in the meantime, I may have to delete Strava from my phone so I don’t get FOMO-induced depression.

At this moment, I don’t know for sure what’s wrong with my back. My doc appointment is this afternoon and I’m eager to find out more about what injury I have and what that may entail.

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