It can start with any variation of a dozen insidious thoughts. It can be small or simple, or as it was with me, it can be big…
“I hate riding on this freaking trainer. Certainly a week or two off can’t hurt me, I’m in phenomenal shape, best of my life”… After a few days I’m feeling good, my arm is rested up and feeling a lot better even if it isn’t fully healed yet. At least it doesn’t hurt to pick up a gallon of milk anymore. Four days later and I’ve only gone for two short walks (less than 2 miles each) and ridden on the trainer once, in a full week. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’ve been eating like it goes out of style.
Lo and behold, we get home early yesterday and it’s way above freezing. It feels like spring. Even if the roads are a little wet, this should be a no-brainer day for a ride. What do I do after unpacking the car and my travel bag? Plop down on the couch to watch football. I think, “After all, I’ve got bowling in four hours, certainly that counts for something doesn’t it”?
Two weeks ago I’d have kicked my own ass for entertaining such a thought, for attempting to give that bullshit validity. Yet there I was. I was a little tired, even after all of that sleep over the weekend so I tried to take a nap. Surely I’d feel better after a nap.
I tried to let sleep take me, to relax into it, but my mind kept wandering back to the same place: You have no business being on this couch right now. Your ass belongs in a saddle. Now. After three or four minutes of this I’d had enough. I suited up immediately and offered for my wife to join me. After all, it should just be good enough just to go out for an hour at this time of year, no? My wife declined citing “too much to do” so that left me wide open to hammer to my heart’s content. With the tires pumped up and ready to go, my tail light blazing and me dressed to perfection for the conditions, what am I thinking on the way out the door?
“Yeah, I’ll just take a nice trip around the block, sixteen miles and I can take an hour to do it, that’ll be fine. None of my friends are out in this anyway so I’ll be doing well just to get out the door”. It’s surprising how easy it was to lose my momentum. Three years, I’ve been rocking all through the year, no more than a day or two off and sporadically at that, and all of a sudden I’m buying that bullshit – bulk.
I was hammering the pedals before I got out of the driveway and I didn’t let up until I was seconds from projectile vomiting all over my bike. Then I backed off for a mile before picking it up again for two more… I did take it easy for the last mile.
A cyclist in motion tends to stay in motion. A cyclist at rest tends to stay at rest… And usually requires a stiff kick in the ass to get it in motion again.
This is a fantastic metaphor for life. It’s far easier, and more enjoyable, to stay in motion. That staying at rest shit is for those who can buy their own excuses… Thank God I didn’t allow myself to go there.