Well, I bowed to reality and decided not to go to Baja yet
, but I did finally manage to get back on the dirt. The mental aspect turned out to be harder than the physical... The slow slog towards better continues. Arrrgh, I want it to be all better NOW and get on with my life.
Stung by that disappointment, I realized I needed to make a plan for getting back to riding dirt. I'll get some instruction, do some gentle dirt rides when I can, and look for a small, cheap (I'm still recovering from the financial blow of the wreck) trailbike so that my sweetheart and I can learn together. In the meantime, I mean to take classes when possible, and slowly expand my riding orbit with dirt daytrips, then extend to overnighters, and so on into longer and more challenging trips.
The first challenge proved to be simply getting myself to a dirtbike park. I revived our little old DRZ 250, cleaned the carb, pumped up the tires, charged the battery, oiled the chain, and test rode. My GF was away, but a bunch of local riders were going to be out at Carnegie. I borrowed her truck and loaded up the bike, but I was fighting anxiety, reluctance, and fear to the point of nausea. I couldn't stop clenching my jaw; I could hardly will myself to move; my brain threw down "I can't" rationalizations thick and fast. I pushed myself through it, step by step, and was pretty surprised to arrive at the park. I unloaded and talked to my buddies, but couldn't make myself ride with anyone. Just cruised up and down the park road until my hands stopped shaking, and my fear sweats dissipated. Fear sweat is nasty stuff, too! Good to get it out of my body, though.
In the end, the dread was worse than anything on the ride itself. I was rusty and jumpy, but rode the beginner trails, played a bit, and did the very small bunny-slope hill climb. Hey, it was even a little bit entertaining...I'm looking forward to going again! A small victory, but a hard-won one, to be sure. And my Sidi Crossfires, stretched by the ski shop to match my new foot shape, worked just fine.
Trauma, you will not own me.