We’ll come back to that. Stick a pin in it. Trust me; I won’t forget.
My body is giving out. After the Rough Trail race my activity level has fallen to nearly 0. I’m at like 0.01% activity. I sit a lot. My muscles stiffen a lot. My soul dies a little more every day.
I don’t run. I don’t ride. I rarely hike or walk or take the stairs.
I have done some trail work in the past couple of months. Mandy and I have been going to a personal trainer at the gym, but consistency is still a problem. The holidays just suck, okay? In case you didn’t know.
It was a relief to be finished with Rough Trail and know I didn’t have another event on the calendar. I was happy that my “training schedule” was blank. But since then I have had absolutely no motivation to get out and do…anything. I rode two days a couple of weeks ago before the rain set in. I’ve ran exactly one time since RT and I hated it.
There is a lack of motivation. There is a lack of inspiration.
Leadville is an option to fill that void. When I say “Leadville” I am referring to the Leadville 100 mountain bike race which is also abbreviated LT100 or Leadville Trail 100 MTB. I tend to use the “Leadville 100” shorthand, but ultra-runners take that as reference to the original one hundred mile trail run. Still…
There is baggage with Leadville. I want to go back and get a buckle and finish my book. But there is a huge cost. The entry fee is $345. The cost of the trip out there is going to be significant. And the cost if I fail to perform (again) would be onerous. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to go back to Colorado. Ever. Some days I see moving back to Kentucky as the biggest mistake we’ve ever made. Some days. Most days I just want to put the past behind me and make the most of the path ahead. So yeah, going back to Colorado might be detrimental to my mental well-being.
Why does it have to be a race? you ask. I need the pressure to motivate me to improve myself. Just saying I’m going to take a mountain bike trip to Brown County this year does nothing to motivate me to eat better and try to stay healthy. I can ride my bike in Brown County as a fat slob. I can’t crush twelve hours at Leadville without commitment and focus.
Ah, focus! The one thing that is most elusive in my life…if I could unlock the secrets of focus then I might finally be able to feel like a normal human being. I might be able to feel successful and grounded. I might be able to shrug off the self-doubt. Signing up for a race doesn’t grant focus, but it incites it. As much as I can be incited to focus, anyway.
The book was focused. It just didn’t have a good finish. The end is a dangling participle.
And I can’t just go out and finish the Mohican 100 in less than twelve hours and be satisfied. I should be able to…I should be able to have normal feelings of self-worth without seeking some odd validations like finishing a mountain bike race, or being a rock climber again, or living outside my cubicle when the paycheck is hidden somewhere inside.
Monday night two weeks ago I got home from work and my body was defeated. I collapsed on the bed in a limp heap; breathing hard with all my synapses firing out of sequence. I sit too much. I’m not active enough. It feels like the longer I’m lethargic the more lethargic I become. And it happened so fast this time…
The smart thing to do would be to skip Leadville this year. I could do the Mohican. I could do a different NUE race. I could do a different Leadville Race Series event. All of them look appealing, though none are closer than nine hundred miles to where I live. The NUE races are closer.
Tomahawk has nothing bad to say about State College, Pee Aye. He raved about it after a visit there with his bike some time ago. There is a NUE race there: The Wilderness 101. It’s about an eight hour drive versus the six hours to the Mohican. That’s doable.
Anyway, my life is a constant struggle now to keep myself from taking on new activities. I don’t need new obsessions. I need to learn to focus on one or two good obsessions and let the extraneous stuff go. I need to learn to let go.
But in order to stay active and healthy I need to have a target to shoot for. That is a reality. The real puzzle is how to do that with the least impact on the rest of my life. Where do I get the most bang for my buck? I want a healthy activity that I enjoy that I can do close to home in a short amount of time. Long distance trail running almost hits that target. It just takes too long. Mountain biking would be the magic activity if there was a decent amount of legal mileage closer to home. I hate road running. Road cycling ends up taking up a lot of time and I get bored of doing short rides. Rock climbing ends up taking up too much extra time and I know I’ll become overly obsessed with it if I focus too much. Bouldering could work if my elbows, knees, and lower back could handle the abuse.
If knitting burned more calories…
Having an event to train for gives me a fiction of focus at least. I tried trail running and it banged me up too much. Mountain biking is really what I love to do and what I would pick over everything else except maybe rock climbing. So there you have it.
This is really as close as you're going to get to a New Year's Resolution with me.