Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hump Day Harangue: Would Even Ride in the Rain

I know I write a lot about my failures and pontificate about future ambitious schemes that never come to fruition.  That’s just how I roll.  But I try to balance that all out with trip reports of actual trips and adventures.  On the other hand this blog is entitled “The Chainring Report” not “My Trip Reports.”  See how I did that?
I started out my Iron Horse training going strong last week. Then over the weekend life took over, and I’ve not been on schedule at all really.  I also wanted to ride my mountain bike today.  Something is wrong with my eyes.  They stay inflamed making it imprudent to wear my contact lenses.  My glasses are thick, heavy, and uncomfortable at best when exercising and sweating in the out of doors.  See how I am making excuses? 
But the glasses thing is real.  I’m blind without correction and they fall off my face when I run or ride or climb or hike or twirl around seeking proprioceptive stimulation.  It’s the most frustrating thing in my life aside from my neurological idiosyncrasies.  I quit whitewater kayaking after only a few months in my early twenties because the myopia made it difficult and nearly impossible to learn to roll in fast water.  I’ve nearly quit professional life many times over because of the other issues.  But I digress.
The Training Partner texted that he was riding at VP this morn at 9am.  I replied that I wish but no, there is just too much to be done and too little time in this cubicle occupation that the world calls work.  Pixels in a file.  Words on a screen.  All in trade for a little bit of money.
My original scheme for the day involved a lunchtime ride at Skullbuster after a Scott County meeting.  I acted the conditioned grownup and opted not to because my only reason for going to the meeting was to have an excuse to mountain bike afterward.  Well, not the only reason but the main one anyway.  The time out of office for travel, meeting, and ride were unjustified even for my proprioception-starved nervous system and recreation-obsessed mind.  I’ve got to get some work done.
But then, here I sit composing this post and not “working.” Mayhap I should have gone biking with Dave after all?
This could be you, or me, and was me, but not today.
This should be my office.
My last mountain bike ride was on Saturday at the KYMBA Women’s Clinic at CVP.  I can’t help but project myself back in time to those few short hours on the trail in a steady rain and wish I could even be back there enjoying some quality trail time.  I don’t care to wish I could be running.  When I’m engaged in the activity I find enjoyment in the moment, but the reality is I’d rather be biking.  The movement of cycling appeals to my most basic physiology in ways I can’t even begin to describe or understand.  To fly across the land at inhuman speeds in near silence at ground level…well, that is so much like flying that I can’t even dismiss that as its main appeal.
Flying through the rain on Saturday I felt free and untroubled by a troubling world.  Trump.  Terrorism.  Police brutality.  Protests.  Economic distress.  Coal mining jobs.  Skittles. 
I have less time in the day than I used to.  I try to steal it back when I can.  I protest a world I see as unjust by injecting my own anarchy back into it.  I don’t agree with the values assigned to our cultural norms.  It’s not the social structure and economy that I value.  I’ve lost so much time in my life to “commuting” and trying to appease the corporate/industrial clock.  My time is not my own.  Too many people make demands upon time I will never have and expect my priorities to align with theirs.  More people depend on me than I am able to satisfy.  If I had it my way it would be simply my wife, my kids, and I.  Future life and career choices will eliminate others from the dependence queue.
Each day in my life has become a battle for personal space.  At one time that was a selfish quest to carve out time for fun.  Now it has become a struggle for survival in the rat race.  Who requisitioned this garbage?
The only answer I can give is “me, myself, and I.”  I have only myself to blame.  Choice.  Consequence.  Results. 
I don’t make the best socially acceptable choices.  Ever.  I’m not saying I’m a failed people pleaser though.  I’m not saying I make bad choices based on what I know is best for me.  Maybe I’ve been in psychological survival mode for more than a few years now.  Going on ten actually.  I’ve developed coping skills that if revealed on a performance review would result in reprimand and possible corrective action.  I can’t say this changes anything from my point of view.  Survival is survival.  Compromising self-preservation tactics results in not surviving.
So I won’t ride today.  I’m going to try to run my six intended miles this evening.  I’ve adapted my training schedule slightly for this week.  I should be resting today but yesterday was an imposed rest day.  I feel better of body today than I did yesterday at least.  Watching the cross country meet last night in Mt. Sterling I felt the strong urge to run more.  I know I’m going to be better off focusing on cycling after this silly half marathon coming up next month.  At my age…
Well, coffee break over, everyone back down on their knees as the old joke goes.

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