A Cycle of Fatigue

Is your lifestyle incredibly busy? Is Coffee your best friend? Does your cycling involve getting up at crazy times to fit your riding in? Make sure you keep a check on your fatigue levels.

Words - Brendan Edwards

My life is a 6 day/ 50 hour working week, looking after a 6 month old baby, cycling 250km per week and spending at least 10 hours a week working on The Dandenong Ranges and La Velocita websites, plus the usual social things in-between. Life can be hectic, and I try to stay positive and as the song goes “Always look on the bright side of life”.  The trouble is that I’m always tired, and fatigue is a constant friend. I just didn’t recognise the signs that I was burning myself out until it was too late.

I collapsed from fatigue and tried sleeping myself back to recovery, but the more I slept the more fatigued I was feeling. We had several workers away at work, and I should have asked for some time off from work, but it sounds weak to say “I’m tired, can I please have a few days off to sleep”.  I stubbornly told myself that they needed me and kept working until I imploded, and life was work, go home & collapse.  Work, go home & collapse.

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That weekend I took the family for a walk at the National Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda. There are some very steep paths there, and pushed myself through a 4km walk.  An old injury flared up &  Bursitis flared up in my knee which involves the knee cap rubbing against the bone when I bend the knee.  Not a pleasant injury to have, and I couldn’t put weight on my leg & needed the use of a walking stick.

It’s a shame that this has to happen around the time that we have exceptional weather, but them’s the breaks. My knee is 95% better now, but given the catalyst of this whole debacle was due to fatigue I’m forcing myself to have an extra week of rest before getting back on the bike.  Over the past three weeks I have ridden a grand total of 25km, but I’m trying to look at this as a glass half full rather than a glass half empty situation.

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Given that many of you experience similar crazy lifestyles I was putting this out as a warning to really listen to your body. If fatigue is a constant part of your life then maybe it’s time to listen to your body more and look after yourself.  None of us have the luxury of hindsight to go back in time to stop yourself from stepping over the edge of an abyss which isn’t pleasant, but as the song goes; “Don’t worry.  Be happy!”