The long road back to fitness…it hurts.

It got away from me at some point this fall… A solid five or so months of training led to some of my best fitness in a long, long time, perhaps ever, in September. After that, it all went to hell. We got home at the end of October, and I was intent on doing a good winter, then my back went bad. So, here I am, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m ready to try to get going…again.

I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again – I want to try to start writing more. I think it’s a good way for me to get some ideas on the keyboard, not forget them, and hopefully do a little bit of homework before the magazine due dates arrive. That would be nice.

Lots to talk about, but first off – getting back to riding.

I did my first real ride on Thursday. We’ve all had our stories about being unfit and suffering as a result. Thursday was a perfect example. I started with the best of intentions of just getting to the 100 kilometer mark and overall, taking it easy. I’m not good at that. I fell to pieces after about 60k and lurched home. Thankfully, I didn’t have to bail out and call Ashley, but I considered the possibility at one point.

Days like that make me question a lot of things. While I’m never going to be fast, I’m decent enough to be spoiled in a way. When things are ticking by as they should be, I take 3-7 hour rides for granted. I check them off before I even get started. No problem. Starting from scratch involves leaving that behind, and that’s hard. It’s like taking away my favorite toy or something. It leaves me pouty and unhappy.

It got so bad on my ride that I started questioning myself seriously – why am I doing this? I don’t have to go out and beat myself over the head for 3.5 hours. No one cares if I ride. I could be at home working on our photography website, researching, learning how to use Photoshop, hanging out with Ashley…a million things. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that my riding is a detriment to my photography. The more time I spend on my bike, the less time I spend working on getting better at what’s probably going to be my work for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to argue with that line of thought.

And yet, I don’t care. I love to ride my bike, even when it sucks. I love to ride my bike, even when I’m on some horrible, straight, flat road in the middle of nowhere, falling to pieces, wondering why my computer is reading such small numbers. I’m not entirely happy if I don’t ride, and the more I accept that basic fact, the happier I’m going to be.

So yes, I could probably use my time more effectively by taking up running, running for 45 minutes a day, and spending the bonus 3-4 hours on improving my picture taking skills…but it’s not bike riding. I need my bike. I need that time. I want to waste it by feeling every moment that rustily ticks by on one of those terrible rides. I am never so aware of time as I am on a bad ride.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing.


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