Ah, the rebuilding phase. This is a training phase that I’ve become very familiar with. It seems like I’ve been in a constant rebuild phase since 2011.

This time around, it feel very different. I suppose partly because I feel like the worst of the ulcerative colitis is behind me. I’m comfortable living, training and racing with my ileostomy now.

Because of this I believe that there really aren’t any obstacles or unknowns in my way. Yes, I do need to have another surgery (I should have a better idea of this date before Christmas). But until the day before the surgery, it’s full steam ahead on rebuilding.

This full steam ahead sensation is something I haven’t experienced before. Previously, I always had some lingering doubt. I couldn’t really trust my body, the medication, or my cranky colon to play along and let me get back to full-on living.

But now I truly believe that the only thing that can hold me back is me. And the wonderful gift of this is that I’m in complete control of me. I can control whether I do get up at 5 a.m. to get my ride in before work. I’m in control of how hard I push myself. I’m my own motivator and cheerleader. I’m the one who puts the expectations on to get the core, yoga and TRX workouts done.

Finally, I’m truly responsible and in control of what I can achieve. The faulty organ is gone. Sure I still have extra intestinal ramifications of ulcerative colitis (because ulcerative colitis is an auto-immune disease, even though my colon has been removed, I’m not actually cured. I still get unexplained fatigue, joint pain, intestinal problems, light headedness, etc) – but these are easier to manage than a full-blown flare.

So yeah, I’m happy, actually I’m thrilled to be rebuilding. The one thing I’ve really been gifted thanks to ulcerative colitis is perspective. For this, I count myself lucky. After all, at the end of the day, it’s just a bike and I do this for fun.


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