Everyone struggles, some of us just make it look easy…
My wonderful wife celebrated 20 years of sobriety yesterday. We had a big cookout in the back yard with a couple dozen of our best friends. With a lot to do in the way of preparations, I cut my Saturday ride short figuring I’d hit it hard today.
The party was a blast but I stayed up late. This morning my motivation was, put mildly, hit. I slept in for the first time in quite a while then fell back to sleep watching stage two of the Tour de France. After breakfast I fell asleep on the couch again. Before I knew it one o’clock had rolled around and I was seriously contemplating skipping my ride. I threw every excuse I could think of at staying on the couch. I’m still struggling just a little bit with getting my breathing back from my cold and I’m still trying to get a little bit of the junk out of my lungs… This is why I ride early on the weekends by the way; If I’m out the door early I don’t have time to sabotage myself.
The back-and-forth went on for about five minutes before I just got off the freaking couch and got dressed to head out. I got my bike prepped, donned the melon protector, shades and shoes, bid adieu to my lovely wife and put my ass on the saddle where it belonged. Two miles in I was still questioning my sanity. I thought long and hard about my struggles of late… Just before the third mile, heading into the wind, everything clicked. The hamster wheel stopped spinning (actually screeched to a halt would be a better description).
The sun felt good, the wind stopped bugging me so much and I just plowed ahead. Ten miles in I was smiling. Two miles later I headed west, the wind at my back. 20 mph, then 22, 24, 25, 27… After five miles of easy speed I headed north towards home. The clouds started to darken and the wind picked up. I cruised along without a care, it was still a perfect day for a ride.
I pulled in after 30 miles thinking I should keep going and add on another ten. I’d promised the wife that I’d stick to 30 though so I turned around and took the bike inside.
When I go through these tough times, it’s difficult to suit up and get my butt on the road but every single time I do, I arrive home thankful I did. Sure I could have justified taking another day off. Sure I could have chosen to lose the battle in my head. But that’s not how I roll anymore. I didn’t need a day off, I needed to work to mojo back.
Here the big picture point though: Even with all of the benefits of being fit; the stress relief, the lack of chronic pain that I used to live with, the better attitude, the ability to eat whatever I want… I still have a tough go from time to time.
The only constant in life is change. This too shall pass, but only if I continue to do the work… If I choose to give in and polish the couch with my butt, the only thing waiting for me is a fat, painful angry existence. That would most certainly be a change, but I need that like I need a hit in the head – and that’s why I suit up when I’d rather not.