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!


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