December 27, 2006

from the depths...

MAN -- it's been over a month since I've written here, and what a month. Very little riding. I can't begin to describe for you what it means to lose someone you care about. Only those that have gone thru it before can know. It's tough...and that's a gross understatement of the truth. I've had little motivation to even get out of bed somedays, but I've still been doing it - thankfully. My health is good, I suppose, but my goals of losing weight have slipped by the wayside. I'm picking the pieces up, slowly. It's amazing how we "run back to momma", sometimes; I'm re-finding comfort in things I've learned to avoid over the years, like food. I guess they call it 'comfort food' for a reason. Other long-forgotten habits have made temporary returns, and have since been abandoned as well -- only human after all, I wish I could say that I'm stronger than all of this, but I can't. Fallable, for sure - but congnizant enough to recognize the reasons; more importantly the reasons to stop again. Time to lift myself up from the depths, and find the sunshine again.

I've begun Yoga classes, and I can honestly say that I had been sceptical, but am now - in only a short time - a believer. While this has not only helped with the obvious, like breath control and balance and flexibility, it has also refocused me mentally on my goals. I can see the pieces falling back into place; the jigsaw puzzle of my life that I'd had so carefully constructed and then let be tossed into the gale of life's difficulties over the last 40 days. I scoured the endless fields of my past for the pieces, sometimes in the darkness of my dreams, and have finally placed them all back in a large pile in front of me. I can see the patterns, and I can see the finished product coming together once more.

Bicycling is a large, easy to find piece - but it's been hard to get it to fit back into the puzzle. I find myself staring at the bikes - still upsidedown in their hooks in the garage, tires still holding on to the last bit of pressure, and a thin layer of neglect collected on the surfaces facing the ceiling. Often with a careful finger I've wiped some of it clean, only to sigh heavily and walk away again. Many a cold morning, where I knew that the path to a good day lay at the END of a nice, long ride, I've found myself still stuck at the beginning only half-dressed for the ride, collasping back into the chair and reversing the process by retreating to my every-day clothes again. I have found myself packing my Carradice for the next day's ride, only to unpack the next morning and retreat to the car. The voices of motivation haven't grown silent - they're simply drowned out under the growl of doubt and "blah". It's true what is oft said about getting back into something you've set aside. Despite the strength of my previous passions, simply STARTING again is proving harder than the act itself.

There is always tomorrow. Lately, while driving here and there, I've been catching myself once again regarding certain roads by their grade of "ride-ability" - and that's a good sign. Trainspotting the other evening, watching the action on the Emporia sub just west of town, I found a myriad of "new" roads that are ripe for a good gravel ride. When the mind starts leaning that way, it's time for the body to follow.

I have a clear vision of myself putting fresh air into neglected Pasela's, stuffing work clothes into a lonely Carradice, and warming up a shirked saddle. Surely it will do my soul some good, and provide the neccessary warm-up for New Year's Day, where I *am* commited.
I'll not let the shortcomings of late this year cloud the promise of the one coming.

Besides, it is only ten short months until 500-miles looms once again.


Noah said...

I know how you feel. I make a short commute to the bus here in Olathe. I try to do it daily, but it's hard some days.

What's your usual commute route look like?

Steve Mohr said...

I don't know how it is to lose someone close to you. My grandparents died 30-35 years ago when I was still young. I had a bike wreck a few weeks ago that has taken it's toll on my riding motivation. I went to the doctor on my bike, but that's about it. I fixed the bike that was damaged in the accident. I've been waiting for your writings to inspire me. I get an email for the DC randonneurs club that is helping. I was in the best shape of my life when I was run off the road by a car. I don't know what happened, it was so fast. Now, I want to return to the saddle.