Looking back on 2009, it has been a year of ups and downs for me. It started off good, with great weather and several rides on my new bike, before we got hit with an ice storm at the end of January. I started my downturn with RA at about this time also. Not one to sit around and whine about it, I pushed myself over the next few months. Working with RA can somedays be challenging at best. There were days that I would wake up to go back to work feeling as bad as I did after finishing the previous shift the day before. I survived and most days was able to laugh about it. September was eventful, I switched to Orencia and started training for running the front end of the printing press that I work on. Once I learn all of it, it will be easier on me and my RA. I still hurt everyday, have a minor amount of swelling but the stiffness from sitting very long and the fatigue continue to bother me, but overall I am doing better than before starting on Orencia. I believe that the Orencia will continue to help me more through the first part of 2010.
Riding was a different story though, I was no longer able to take the punishment of hardcore woods riding. I reluctantly began my switch from some dual sport rides to all dual sport rides by around April. I still try to slip in a few miles of hardcore woods each time out, but its mostly atv trails, fire roads, dirt roads and some asphalt now. I did manage to log just over 1800 miles this year, the most I have rode in several years. I went through 3 back tires on the 525 this year, and as far as my bike goes, I like it more each time I ride it. I was a bit intimidated when I first bought it, it had been a while since I had rode anything over a 200. My 200 puts out 27 hp and weighs in at 231lbs. My 525 puts out 55-57 hp and weighs 252 lbs. The acceleration and pure torque of this bike makes riding anywhere fun. I have had my bike up to 87 mph, and it was not anywhere close to being topped out. Thats ok because I was. Next time you're running 85 down interstate, think about opening the door and jumping out. You'll see why I backed off.
I also expanded my blog into my struggles with RA this year. It has been a very comforting experience to talk with people who are experiencing the same struggles that I am going through. The doctors, your friends and family are supportive, but its just not the same as talking with people who have RA. One of my fellow RAer's posted this a couple of months back, "To get it, you have to have it", very true. I am thankful for the friendships I have made in the RA blogosphere and hope both my friendships and the RA blogosphere will continue to grow in 2010.
I hope that 2010 will treat all of us good, I don't personally make new years resolutions, but I am going to try to be better to my family and myself this year, and hopefully I will feel good enough to get back in the gym soon. I hope all of you have a happy and safe new years. Oh, by the way, if you are sitting around the house with nothing to do on New Years Eve, check out ESPN at 11 pm eastern for Travis Pastrana's record attempt car jump for Red Bull. Travis will be jumping from Long Beach's Pine Street Pier to a barge that will be anchored in the harbor.