I was all set to come out guns a blazin’. Let’s face it, I’m obviously in the perfect position to comment on this subject, if anyone is! Recovering drunk and a part of my recovery is maintaining my fitness.
It’s not even close! Gimme my Lycra, my $200 aero, yet exceptionally well ventilated, helmet, my $5,000 bike… Give me an hour a day to punch out some miles (several on weekend days) and life’s good, right?
I’ll take that over being the loser I was as a drunken a young man, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Put simply, The People of the State of Michigan had a serious problem with me drinking alcohol. They don’t however, mind that I ride a bike. A lot.
In fact, I published comments on both posts that ended like this (this is quoted from the original post’s comment): “HOWEVER, and this is the difference, I can maintain an excellent life balance on a bike. I cannot sucking on a beer bottle. Make sense?”
And therein lies the rub. It’s the fly in the ointment, the wrench in the cogs: My recovery from alcoholism affects everything else in my life. It influences my cycling “habit” because finding a healthy balance in life with everything except alcohol, is a core tenet.
Now, I want to make clear one point, lest I end up with a bunch of people making comments about the notion that alcohol should be included in that “balance”, that I should somehow learn how to consume alcohol responsibly. Folks, I tried everything I could to come up with a way to manage alcohol responsibly before I quit entirely. Everything. I do not possess the ability to consume alcohol, in any amount, successfully, and won’t. At least not for this 24-hour period (as was the case for the previous 8,239). That said, if you must, try to score your points below. Just know going in, my Kung Fu is strong.
Getting back to the point, when I put alcohol (or any mood or mind-altering substance for that matter) into my system, an uncontrollable obsession kicks in. It just is what it is – call it a disease, call it a genetic brain fart, call it “choice”, I really don’t care. The point is, I become obsessed with the escape that alcohol provides. A little is too much and more is better, so too much is just about right. Now, last statistics I saw said about 10% of the population, overall, is susceptible to alcoholism (studies have shown that certain ethnicities are more susceptible than others depending on the length of time natural selection has had time to weed the worst among us out). Once a program of recovery is instituted and adhered to, we learn to change. Everything. With that change comes a desire to seek balance in life. Not too happy, not too sad, not too up or down, you get the picture. We learn to be acutely aware of this balance being interrupted – and we change our lives as necessary to restore it. Too much up gets to be almost as uncomfortable as too much down, and both of those require evaluation followed by action to restore things to their natural equilibrium.
In other simpler terms, and this is coming from my wife, my first two years of cycling were a little touchy, close to going overboard. I’ve since moderated, even if my mileage has increased a little bit, it’s not all time spent alone anymore. My wife is involved with much of my time on the bike so one way or another, we’re spending a lot more time together having fun… I can’t compare the two, my alcoholism and my cycling habit, because I’m cycling is filtered through my recovery experience. It would be like trying to compare apples and oranges as they say.
Interesting topic for idle chatter though.