Skip to main content

Motivation, or lack thereof

I stare out the living room window. It's foggy, 38 degrees. There's an air stagnation advisory and what little breeze there is carries the sour bite of wood smoke from stoves and slash piles. It's been this way for three weeks. I walk to the back room where my kit is stored and mentally weigh how much clothing I'll need to put on to go for even a short ride. My shoulders sag. I walk back to the living room and stare out the window again. I go get the furniture polish and clean the coffee table. I run the dishwasher. I return to my vigil at the living room window.

Carolyn doesn't want me to ride in this fog. She's afraid I'll get shot. She might have a point. I don't want to ride in this fog. I'm afraid I'll hate it. I know I'll hate it. What's to like? Hard work and hypothermia, what a nice way to spend an afternoon.  Looking out the window seems like a much better idea.

I throw another log in the fire and continue to wallow in the awful blend of boredom and dread that fills me this time every year. I know what it is. I knew it was coming. Last Fall I left myself a mental note to forgive myself and not panic when this feeling arrived.

It didn't work. I'm full of self-loathing and panic.

The holidays rolled around. Thanksgiving was followed by my birthday and Christmas hot on its heels. The wine and food flowed. The days got short. What little daylight there was quickly filled with stacking firewood, field mowing and all the prep that goes with the Holidays. Riding my bike turned into a once or twice a week thing. And when I say riding my bike, I mean spinning in the barn. I'm gaining weight. My back hurts. I'm slouching. I suck.

Every athlete who deals with the weather goes through this in the winter to some degree. Most would deny it. There's no shortage of motivational writing on cycling in bad weather. I'm familiar with The Rules, especially Rule #9: "If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period." I'm not a badass. I might also suggest that if you are out riding in bad weather and nobody sees you, you're just out riding in bad weather and your sanity might reasonably be questioned. At the very least you might catch a cold.

In the kitchen, the dishwasher stops making the "I'm washing the dishes" sound and starts making the "I've been doing your dishes for 13 years and my pump and impeller unit just gave out" noise. I think that's also referred to as a "death rattle".  My shoulders are already sagged. I sigh a few times. It's pretty much all I have to work with.

Still, one finds motivation where one must. The disincentive to stay inside and wash a dead dishwasher full of dirty dishes outweighs the disincentive to get dressed and go for a bike ride.

I put on every warm garment I own, head to the barn and pump up my long-flat bike tires, plant my flabby ass on the saddle and wobble down the soggy driveway and head to the mountains.

Thanks dead dishwasher!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hawaii Part I

This is a year of great portent for Carolyn and me. All kinds of things lined up. It's our 30th anniversary! Actually, it's the 30th anniversary of our first date which turned into a sleepover which turned into nightly sleepovers which turned into moving in together which turned into buying a house together which turned into buying another house together and breaking out in cats, which is pretty much where we are now. Exactly in the middle of those 30 years we got married. It was sometime in July, we have it written down somewhere. That's not to say we take the marriage lightly. It means a great deal to us, though for some reason, we aren't getting the spouse's discount on rental cars that I thought came with the package. Anyway, 15 years of being bound in matrimony this year too. It's also Carolyn's 65th birthday, which is maybe the biggest deal. Oh, and there's a solar eclipse in August. If you're big on numerology and signs from the Heavens, this…

After this Winter - Some thoughts on losing my way

Last weekend I dug my bibs out of the closet, suited up and did the Mudslinger mountain bike race again. Some confusion after the race got me thinking about paths, wayfinding, and getting lost. It also got me thinking about politics.

This was the 30th annual Mudslinger which means we share an anniversary! A couple actually. Carolyn and I have been together 30 years and I started racing mountain bikes 30 years ago. My race prep this year consisted mainly of gassing up the car the day before driving down to the race. I think I've ridden outside four times since Christmas. Still, I wasn't going to miss this one. I did the second Mudslinger in 1988 and quite a few after that until I stopped racing in 1996. I've done it at least six more times since I started racing again in 2008.

I finished pretty far back in the field but ahead of a few dozen racers. I wasn't the only one having trouble getting the base miles in. More importantly, I had fun. It was a beautiful sunn…

Some thoughts on the road's end

I didn't get many Christmas cards out this year. Didn't do a letter either. I'm sorry about that. Here's what happened.

Less than a week before Christmas, my in-laws reached a crisis point that signaled the end of their independent lives and the beginning of ongoing nursing care. I want to recount the journey to that crisis point. I apologize for the length of this. I need to get it out of my head. I need to document this because my in-laws are wonderful people who have reached the end of their independent lives and I want you to know what it was like.

The crisis had been building for some time. We knew something was going to happen to push this forward. Indeed, Merle and Catherine are where we wanted them to be but their journey there was so abrupt and terrible sounding, it actually made people laugh when I recounted it. We tried to get ahead of what was coming but the desire to let Merle and Catherine continue to live at home combined with their determination to stay…