I was at the top of some hill. Don’t let anyone tell you Iowa’s flat. It ain’t. The western part of the state is near-bout at the foothills of the Rockies.
I was most likely out of breath. In 2008 I’d been recently informed my thyroid had “gone mutant” and was cutting off my air supply. It was literally closing my trachea. (Years later I found out the normal “clearance” in the trachea for air to flow is 15cm to 20cm. My thyroid had closed that to 2cm.)
In 2011 I had a thryoidectomy. (I’m going to blame that on why I’m still not sporting six-pack abs, doncha know.) Removing that bad boy opened up my wind-pipe and allowed me to breathe again.
Unfortunately for me, riding without being able to breathe stuck in my brain. Years ago there would be times where I honestly couldn’t get any air in my lungs whatsoever. I’d stand on the side of the road, looking like I was having a heart attack. Looked like a fish out of water trying to catch a breath.
Though that’s not the case any longer — I can breathe quite normally — whenever I tackle something that makes my lungs work, my brains comes close to “panic mode.” It’s a constant mental battle to make myself realize that I’m going to be just fine. “Quit panicking, brain, and let the legs and lungs do their job, would ya?”