The Tour Down Under has just wrapped up in Adelaide – there were so many cyclists in town, streets filled with lycra (I still don’t get lycra) and pelotons everywhere. You even felt fit just walking around town.
There is another cycle ride that hits Adelaide though, growing slowly in stature and importance since the inaugural event in 2012 – the Ride for Pain. Held for the third time in November last year, the aim of the ride is to raise community awareness of chronic pain. Over 500 riders – from some of Australia’s best, to weekend warriors – take a craftily constructed route through the hills of Adelaide.
I went to last year’s Ride for Pain and had a chat to some of the cyclists before they left, during the ride and after they had reached the finish line. I wanted to know what they thought about pain and some of the things they did about it while riding. While the topic is serious, the ride is meant to be fun- a celebration of riding where just getting to the finish line is the ultimate achievement for most. We had some fun collating a number of the interviews into the light-hearted video below.
There are some key messages here to start the year off on noijam. All of these cyclists do extraordinary things. They all get pain at some stage – even the champions. But the pain is fleeting, temporary and is well understood. For many of the riders it is considered ‘earned’ and for some it is even celebrated – a sign that they are pushing themselves to their limits and maybe even a little beyond. There were many mental processes being employed by the riders to help – a lot of them involving context and meaning.
Cyclists are not the only group who have rides for pain. We all have them – think here for a moment of some activity associated with pain and consider it a “ride.” No matter what, any such “ride” presents opportunities to consider pain in some of its many contexts- in healthy and fit individuals undertaking an activity they love, in the presence of tissue damage from scrapes and scratches to sprained and strained tissues, and with varying degrees of knowledge about what might be going on in a body. This should then lead us to thinking about the power of context and meaning, the importance of the inseparable, intertwined and overlapping domains of biology, psychology and sociology and the emergent nature of the diverse human experience called pain.
I’d like to hear from you – what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from the video, and more, what are your thoughts about the role of context and meaning in relation to pain? Share your thoughts in the comments below
PS: Since observing my tight T-shirt in the video I have now decided to become a cyclist and I have set a goal to ride in the next “Ride for Pain” – see you at the top of the mountain.
There’s so much going on at NOI in 2015 – ep3 is shaping up to be another blockbuster three day event and spaces are filling fast, the worldwide faculty are running courses in England, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Greece, India, Canada, the United States and Australia, The Explain Pain Handbook: Protectometer is days away from delivery and our new website protectometer.com is about to go live. Don’t miss a thing – follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can follow us here on noijam and join us at noigroup.