I’ve been meaning to do two things pretty well the entire bike season. Tune the cockpit of my handlebars and tighten my pedals. Simple tasks, but when I get off my bike and spray it down and place it in the rack my mind is off on it’s own race. Being hamstrung for however many past hours by physical effort I’ve no control whether my mind dithers over what to make for dinner or what I’ve done wrong over the day. I’m a slave to this beast of a thing, and generally speaking it isn’t very kind. Actually, it isn’t kind at all.
What I’ve been able to accomplish in this lifetime has wholly been governed by certain mental idiosyncrasies with which I’m saddled. Friends have noted long ago my wavering commitment to plans made in advance, have also noted my last minute invitations for bike rides and BBQ’s, or worst still my tendency to detract on plans made at the last second. It’s a crazy battle; my need for the company of people and my need for solitude, a balance that I will likely never get right. When I ask you to ride with five minutes notice I am displaying a need for your company, a love for you that is both impractical and sincere.
It’s a reason why I don’t race bikes in spite of my desire to do so. My racing history is checkered with last minute registration sales and DNS results. On any given morning, be it a race day or not, I can wake up in a fog of discontent and a crippling vacuum of motivation. So race day aside, I struggle just to maintain a regular training program for any reasonable length of time. Some say I lack discipline, and maybe I do. But more than discipline, what stifles my best laid plans must be, in my estimation, a gross lack of knowledge about the subject matter itself. Namely, me.
Sadly for myself my best days are riding off into the local wilderness, my laboured breathing and heartbeat my company. The sense that I’m doing okay, that what I’m doing is right and will give reason to those who care for me to continue to do so. I don’t regret these times at all, but I regret not being able to enjoy them more often with more of the people that I care about.
If I could turn my care for others into a career I would be the richest man on earth.