June 18, 2009

Perspectives from the great north.

I'm enjoying a nice vacation from the bike right now, sitting on a balcony overlooking a stand of pine and a couple of small lakes. Its awesome! Do I miss the bike? Obvious question, perhaps. The answer is actually 'no', not at the moment. I am human, after all, not so shallow that I can't function without it - but I will be pleased to get back in the saddle to head off some of my vacationary indescretions. I have been relaxing - rather, *learning* how to relax - on this journey. I still get those spurts of inability to sit still, but those have been fading over the last few days. I'm going to make solid efforts to pull this marked lack of momentum into the 'real' life that awaits my return to Kansas - tailored towards getting things done and doing good work, of course, but this de-stressing mentality is needed with my increased work schedule. Some bike things will have to be rethought: life is getting hard enough, and I've found myself adding stress with plans for
another R-12, along with everything else that is coming up. I simply can't do it all, and coming to grips with that had been difficult in the weeks leading up to this vacation. I'd been tossing back and forth about silly things like whether or not to do a certain ride that I've never done before - something that actually sounds like fun - but I've found myself inexcusably dismissive of these "funner" rides for foundless reasons like their being "too short" or that they "don't count towards X". Continuing that madness, I then begin stressing over something like a last-minute before-the-month-is-out 200k, solo, starting at 3am just so I can fit it in and still have time to do laundry and hang with the fam for a few hours before I have to go back to work. It's kinda dumb on my part, honestly, and it should go without saying that I'm tabling plans for the second R-12 for now, and will be planning on just maintaining endurance and building speed and strength for future endea
vors: things that will require more time and money: neither of which I have the luxury of possessing currently.

It feels good to be healthy again, to perhaps be 'ready' for bigger cycling challenges - but those challenges will have to wait. Focus on my long-term plan is critical. There truly are "more important things", and getting the chance to step away from "life" for a while on vacation, like this, is an excellent way to realize what those "more important things" are. Pursuits like cycling truly are "extras". Course, not to mislead anyone - nor myself: bicycling is important to me, a great outlet. I'm not hanging it up, that's for sure - but if work won't allow me the reasonable buffers of spare time needed to keep an R-12 going, then I can't keep it going. Simple as that.

Thinking along the lines of how much time a 200k takes, and how, lately, I can't even find time to mow the grass - well, the decision is simple, and I've been an idiot to try and keep squeezing all this in. I DO have time for the shorter, "funner" rides, and I've skipped them, unneccessarily - adopting an all-or-nothing policy which, just like trying to fit it ALL in, doesn't accomplish much for de-stressing, either. Yeah, its ridiculous. I miss the wife and kids with all the work hours...why do a 12 hour ride, too? Silly. I get plenty of saddle-time from commuting. Keeping commuting going with my schedule is hard enough - so, essentially, *that* is my challenge. More ambitious pursuits will be waiting for me when I once again return to being a one-job-pony.

For now, I'm looking forward to some smaller mini-vacations, like an upcoming S24O in July. Might attend the Tour de Shawnee. Might organize another DSR, might make the Hard Cider ride happen, might hit the roads for a 200k again in August for good measure, who knows, and then it will be MS-150 time again before I know it, another mini-vacation - and most importantly, this year I'm strictly riding the ride, instead of leading a team. All of this, with the occasional "home-by-noon" speedwork should keep me mentally and physically happy and fit, and I'll have a lot more family time as a result - which is worth far more than any brevet card or medal I could hope to earn.

Hopefully, events like TTTT (www.tt24tt.com), The Last-Chance 1200, and the Iowa 24-hour race, will still be around when I can rejoin the chase. I feel enough accomplishment just having returned to, and exceeding, the form required to consider taking them on. The tests, however, will wait until I can bring the life-work balance back on track.

For today, I'm sticking the phone back on the charger and getting back to staring at the pine trees and ducks, with a kid under each arm.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds like a well thought out plan...now if you can commit to your sanity instead of the "insanity" of trying to do it all, your life will seem more at ease. You just try too damn hard.