Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guilt, Fear, Passion and Joy.

I was scheduled to join some friends bright and early Sunday for a 2:30-2:45 ride. Originally we said that we would meet early enough so that we would be pumping up our tires in the dark and rolling at first light. This was translated into get up at 5:30, meet before 6:30 (about 15-20 minutes away) and roll as quickly as possible. Well, at least that was the plan.

The reality is that I was up about 2:00AM and didn't get to sleep again until 4:00 or so. When the clock went off at 5:30 I was useless. I texted some of them to make sure no one was riding solo. They had a quorum so I went back to sleep. When I finally got up I still had my ride to do. While it was warmer than it has been recently (with temps in the mid 40s with the hope of maybe breaking 50), the wind was howling with about 20mph sustained wind.

Before I got on the bike I tried to figure out why I was doing this ride. The first thought was guilt. Not doing this ride would make my coach wonder why he was crafting the workouts that I wasn't doing. Not doing the ride would be imposing on my family as they were adjusting their schedule to accommodate my vanishing for 3 hours - sometimes vanishing early works in the schedule and sometimes, like last Sunday, vanishing later is more difficult with the kids having to be delivered to their activities. I already left my friends high and dry early in the morning. I got on the bike and started riding.

When I am doubting my workouts I sometimes seem to "invent" reasons to cut it short or reduce the intensity. I know I shouldn't be doing this but it happens sort of on its own from time to time. I know if I don't do the work, magic isn't going to help me race the way I want to race. Yes, my early season races are more like training exercises leading up to my IMFL, but fear was starting to come into play. I am fighting the injury to my foot already. If I can't ride as well, reality would start sinking in that an old, fat, gravy sweating rock star shouldn't be doing what I keep trying to do. I kept riding.

To mix things up I decided to do a little exploring on the bike. Turns where I typically made a left as part of a known route, I made a right to see what was there. I did some hills that I hadn't done in a while (including Sagamore Hill and saw the tourists milling around), found a few new ones, and started having some fun on the bike even though the wind was a constant reminder of what the day could have been if it wasn't there. Even though it wasn't a great ride, it was still pretty good.

Time flew by and I realized I had to head for home or I'd be out too long (there was a soccer game for 13 year old girls that I wanted to see). I felt I could have ridden all day. Then I noticed what I've been missing: Passion. Passion led to joy. Obvious at the end of the ride but not obvious at the beginning when guilt and fear were bouncing through my head.

I need to remember the passion more often.

What makes you do what you do?


Anne said...

I tend to set goals and then I do what needs to get done to reach those goals. I usually feel pride with each step taken, but it's not always easy to getter' done!

Good job on the bike ride, sounds like it was a nice time :)

Michael said...

I love the sense of accomplishment after I do something...but sometimes getting there is definitely the hard part. Great job on getting out there and pushing through the voices in your head - and what a great ending! Awesome!

Unknown said...

Nice post man! Sometimes you just gotta ride to realize why you do it.

Kate Geisen said...

With running, I'm mostly with Anne. I like meeting a new goal, accomplishing something I really didn't think I could do. I've found more joy in trail running, so that's kind of moved me from a purely goal-oriented runner to one who (at least occasionally) enjoys the experience. Once I can drag myself off the couch.

Cycling is more of a love type of thing...but I don't have any bike races scheduled, so it has to be. :)

joyRuN said...

Beautifully written! Awesome to read how your emotions progressed through the ride - a great reminder of why we do this.

Heather said...

It is hard to keep sight of the love of the sport sometimes.
I do it because I want to be hot in my forties!! I do it because it is the only time I have in a day to compelete a thought. And I do it because I am still fascinated that I can. Sometimes guilt and fear definitely plays a factor though.

Good for you for pushing through to the passion.

Al's CL Reviews said...

My inspiration right now is not having clothes that fit (they are all too big). That and having a half-marathon on the horizon make me want to run.

Mark said...

Homeslice. hang in there. I know how you feel. This time of year with finals bearing down on all my students, I have to keep motivated to stay on top of everything. That is why I disappear for short periods at a time. Too much to do. However, I always try to stay honest with my workouts and put time in the bank with my family. I have zero discretionary time. But I DO IT because I love having that discipline in my life and I love instilling those values upon my children. You are an awesome role model for those kids—keep the drive alive hombre!!!

Unknown said...

I have days where the guilt drives me too. The sense of accomplishment though is what keeps me going. Even when I do a run out of guilt, I almost always finish with a sense of accomplishment. It's like a drug for me.