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Facing the challenges of 2020

Trish Albert

Trish Albert solo ride 2020
2020. It was going to be the year I did a little bit of everything. I had planned a couple of short course gravel races, maybe a 3 hour mountain bike race, and my usual full season of track/velodrome and cyclocross. Then myocarditis hit. You thought I was going to say COVID-19. Let’s back up about 6 weeks before we were all sheltering in place. After not being able to breath on a gravel ride at Dirty Sheets with another Sorella I knew this wasn’t asthma, not EILO, not anything like I had ever experienced before. It felt as though I had done a hard interval set yet the speed was only party pace. After many tests, it was determined that I had myocarditis caused by a virus. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. The only cure is rest and lots of it. It has been an adjustment. No more training, no more goals. No races. There was nothing. Just rest. Then COVID-19 hit and put the rest of the world into a bit of what I was experiencing. Races and rides were cancelled; everyone went into quarantine. No one knew when racing or riding would resume.

How did I cope? I accepted the situation. It’s out of my control; there is nothing I can do about it. To quote Elsa, “Let it go.” I didn’t let the worrying about the what-ifs bother me. I treated the myocarditis like an injury. You have to rest to get over the injury. If you don’t, you only prolong recovery. Meditation helps as well. It allows you to focus on the aspects of your life you can control and let those you can’t float over you without worry about them while keeping tabs on them. There are several good apps including Headspace and Calm. A wellness coach can help keep you on track towards your goals while dealing with challenges-whether it’s an illness, stress, or general life stuff. You can find them through your company’s Employee Assistance Program or many searchable websites. Lastly, if you are having problems still coping talk to your doctor or mental health professional about other options.

With COVID-19 there is not much racing going on. I don’t know what the future holds. At the same time, the universe picked a good year for me not to be able to race!