So, you’re a cycling enthusiast and you’re coming home with relatives. Your wife has asked if she can keep the kids for another week, so you’re going to be flying solo… The car pulls out of the driveway at 4:30 am. You spend the next 12h:07m:38s in the car…with only two pee breaks. Seriously.
Fortunately, I knew what was coming so I stopped drinking fluids around six the night before. Anywho, twelve long hours and I stretch my legs, pee for ten minutes, and haul my gear inside.
It’s 4:50pm now and you have a choice. You’re physically tired from one awesome vacation but you’re a little worried you didn’t quite get enough miles in over the vacation and you know good and well, it’s easier to keep the train rollin’ than take a day off right before the big club ride tomorrow night…
A) Say skip it, take the night off. Maybe watch a movie or something.
B) Figure you worked more than hard enough to chance it tomorrow night, order a pizza, eat the whole thing based on your “active vacation”.
C) Take an easy 10 mile ride, looking at all of the wonderful scenery, just to keep the legs spun up…
or D) Start out at an easy pace, only to find that your easy pace jumped from 19 to 22 mph because you hammered the mountains so hard, so you maintain that throughout the ride only dropping below 20 when you’re into the wind… Then order that pizza but only eat half of it (man did that taste good!) and watch the homerun derby. For you folks across the pond, that’d be “watch a soccer match”. Err, European Football or something. Chuckle.
Well, my whirlwind quintathalon vacation of cycling, swimming, tubing, Spades and burger eating has come to an end and I’m on my way home with my brother, his wife and their daughter.
My wife and daughters are staying another week.
Generally speaking, I hate the trip home. I’m one of those guys who despises the “getting there” and would much rather just be there already – especially on the way home. It’s 10 am, my phone is blowing up, I’ve got about 40 hours worth of catch-up work that has to be done before the group ride, I’m tired from absolutely breaking my butt on the water yesterday…and I’m not with my Babymama and daughters.
There once was a time when I would celebrate a little dad’s home alone time. I was no peach to be around and my wife was just as bad. We were constantly at each other’s throats and very close to divorce at the time. In fact, we were down to that final choice: Give up on the marriage or give up on the divorce (which pretty much meant forgive, forget and learn to live as a better husband and wife).
We chose the latter and I forgave my wife (and she, me). I worked my recovery program at my marriage, and my wife did hers. We forgave and let go of the anger and chose to love each other completely. Just for today for the rest of our lives. That was more than a few years ago and now there is no celebrating as I’m heading home. No jokes about being a bachelor for a week, no looking forward to eating whatever I want for dinner. Because one way or another, I’ll be eating that dinner alone. Most of my rides this week will be solo.
We had to cease fighting to win the war. With the peace treaty etched in stone, now it’s just a bummer to be away from her.
And as sad as I am right now, I still have something to be grateful for: I am grateful that I miss my wife that much. Now that’s something to celebrate, and so I shall.
Stay tuned. I’m back with the fun posts in tomorrow…
Overcoming a major life limitation, alcoholism in my case, comes with an excellent benefit. Having recovered, come back from the depths of despair to join the human race once again, I have taken advantage of being able to see life in a wonderful perspective.
It’s definitely not a “rose colored glasses” or “pink cloud” type a thing because it’s not a false perception of reality. It is being grateful for the reality I have. It’s being content with that reality without using contentment as an excuse to rest on the hard work that got me through those dark times. It’s also being content with knowing I could choose to rest on those laurels and have my misery refunded.
Life is good.
I only rode twelve miles a day, and at no more than a 17 mph average, for the last week. I even took a day off just for the heck of it…
And it was flipping awesome because I was with my super flipping hot as hell wife riding in the mountains and loving it. Even when we got in a little stupid spat that needed to happen so we could get right. Even better, look what happens when you work the steps… It does keep getting even better and my wife is even more in love with me than when she woke up today and she’s a little teary eyed typing this.
The first paragraph is mine, the next was written by my wife and hastily edited after she accidentally hit the publish button. Chuckle.
It’s all good. Literally.
An excellent post about riding in a group…
This is what I’m talkin’ about! That’s some guts right there…
When I was just a young pup in sobriety my sponsor’s sponsor, on presenting me with a six-month coin, said, “Jim, I promise you, if you keep coming back and doing the next right thing, life will get so good that you just don’t think it can get any better… And six months later you’ll look back and realize it did.”
I’ve been there so many times, I’ve lost count. Not only that, the goal posts have been moved so far that my idea of sheer bliss back then is everyday life today. My idea of “good” has grown exponentially. It’s gotten much better.
Over the last few days I’ve been watching my girls interacting with their aunt and uncle, granny and grand pop, with their mother, respective sister and me… I mean I’ve really paid attention… And I ended up with a full week of those moments where I just can’t believe how good life is.
I just keep comin’ back and doing the next right thing… And happiness happens.
It’s been a great week. I don’t know if it can get better than this…but I know enough not to bet against it, and for that I am grateful.
I’ve tried all of the workarounds (at least the first two pages of a Google search’s worth). Even some of the stupid one’s. I still get the “incorrect password” for my router when I know it’s the right password and the entirety of my family is connected happily to that very router except my sister-in-law who’s having the same problems with her stupid iPad. In fact, guess how I’m writing this post? On my lap top that is connected through that very router.
I’m almost tempted to run my data usage up so I can, in turn, stick that bill right up my provider’s ass… But the truth is, it’s not my cell provider’s fault Apple’s operating software sucks my butt. And don’t give me all of this, “well if you just reset network settings” crap… First, I have, and second I shouldn’t have to reset anything. I just installed a freaking brand new operating system (a 1.8 gig download [!!!] that I had to restart three times because the server stopped the download more than 3/4’s of the way through). The point is, I shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make a $700 f@cking phone work. It just should because that’s exactly what the f@ck I paid for.
See, here’s the point folks. Most people will go to any length to make someone else’s busted up s#!++y product work, because it’s expensive and they’d rather not go to all of the trouble of taking their crappy, yet astoundingly expensive, product back to the store to have it replaced. They’ll hang on like ticks just to avoid that confrontation. Don’t. They owe you a product that works as advertised. If it doesn’t, by all means take it back. It’s the only real way to “make ’em pay”.
This has been happening with regularity since I went from my iPhone 4 to the 6 (Gold btw).
So, I’m done with you Apple. And this post is my middle finger to you.
Any chance of bringing Steve Jobs back from the dead? D’you at least freeze him ‘er somethin’?
I’ve been going a hundred miles an hour for so long I just kinda got used to it. It’s been about five months since my last vacation (or day off from work for that matter). I’ve written and published at least one post every day since April, and the truth of the matter is, it’s just time for a little break. Time to recharge the batteries, get excited again. So I’m going to take some time to myself to hang out, ride my bike and enjoy some much needed alone time with my wife and family.
To all of my friends, ether or otherwise, thank you for everything. The encouragement, good times, laughs, and even you, Titanium Henry and MJ for continually busting my balls (that being all in good fun goes without saying).
I’ll be back in a bit (or if something fun to write about strikes me).
It just might be time to embrace the horror; my most awesome “consecutive days of cycling without a day off” streak just may be in jeopardy… At 19!
This is almost a full week better than I’ve ever been able to muscle through without a decay in performance. In fact, I’ve only gotten stronger and faster over that stretch. Better, I had thirteen more days in a row before that so I’ve been working on one day’s rest in 33.
My previous best was 14 days in a row and on that 14th day my performance absolutely tanked. I went from 21 mph averages to 18 being hard work. It was classic overtraining. Last year I actually went with taking one day a week off, no matter what. That worked but it’s always bugged me that the pros could ride so much faster than I do without time off. So I set out to find a way.
Today, overtraining is not an issue. I feel spry, good and strong – every day. This leap is due to one thing: Slowing down a little bit on the slow days. Put another way, I’m able to keep from too much speed on the slow days because I ride with my wife.
I may be facing issues on that front though. Last year, a good ride with my wife produced a 15 mph average. Today we’re up to 17.5 (her hard days jumped from 16 to 19 mph and from 16 miles to 40). The rule of thumb that’s worked so well is to ride slow, two or three days a week, at a pace that would have me embarrassed if my friends saw me riding that slow. 16-17 mph is that butter speed for me.
So, it’s been pouring rain with thunder and lightening since 8 this morning… I can deal with a little bit of rain but the lightening isn’t cool. So my streak may come to an end. We’ll see (it’s supposed to clear up shortly). Either way, I’m happy. I figured out how to beat overtraining so I can enjoy an hour cruising down the road every day if I choose. And I like it. Now it’s time for some much needed tinkering on the rain bike.
Happy trails and tarmac.
UPDATE: Nope! Miracle of miracles, the sun has made an appearance. Time for 20 days in a row!
UPDATE II: Done, 20 days in a row.