Monday, August 1, 2011

Sheer Terror

I'm always taken aback when someone thinks I'm showing "determination and perseverance" in my pursuit of 80-80-8. The reality is that I'm driven by fear. Terror of encroaching decrepitude. Exercise is for me like a shaft of air to a buried miner. I embrace it with profound gratitude. It saves me from a fate worse than death. It saves me from the half-life of incapacitation. Of being dependent on others. Of lacking the strength or energy to pursue my passions.

True, today I confront its treachery. Having been seduced into riding hard on Saturday (seduced by the memory of the endorphins generated by the ride only two days earlier) I'm still dragged out, even after a nap (that makes three days in a row). Evidently riding hard requires far more recovery than I had allowed. So tomorrow I'm not going to ride, I'm going to get a massage. (Here I'm blessed by the availability of a really good masseuse who's often available within 24 hours of my call. How lucky can you get?) Then a ride on Wednesday. Hopefully by then I'll be rested enough to go all-out. And if all goes well, two days of recovery and another all-out on Saturday. Or Sunday. We'll see. Should prove interesting.

No, I don't ride/train with determination and perseverence. I owe any progress I make to curiosity and patience. Driven by fear.

And fueled by joy. During my six-mile warm-ups, especially, cruising along in the fresh morning air with the low sunlight on the wildflowers and tall grasses, commuters in their cars (and on their bicycles) whizzing past me ... sheer joy.


  1. Do you do any upper body workouts? On off days you could try a little upper body stuff or even light yoga to keep things moving. Rest the legs, but keep the blood flowing.

  2. I think the term "active recovery"applies.