Learning To Say I Can’t

“I can’t do my workouts today.”

This is the text I just sent to my coach Steve Weller.

This is not a normal text for me to send. I’m that person who gets up at 4:45 to do a weight workout before going to physio at 6:45 and then comes home to ride for 90 minutes or so and then does a full day of writing work at home.

But today, I just can’t do it all. A very good but busy weekend followed by two days of lots of writing work and life finally caught up with me today.

So today, I’m taking my own advice and forgetting about the training plan. To be honest this in itself is stressing me a bit. I sit here asking myself how I let this happen and wondering why I can’t just keep on plowing forward.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting to a new point in my bike riding life. I don’t consider myself a racer anymore. I’m a person who used to race bikes and now loves riding a bike. So on a day like today when there are so many balls in the air and a few on the floor – I have to say no.

It’s hard to not ride when I’ve conditioned myself to always be riding or getting ready to ride. It’s so hard to let go of the mindset that helped me achieve some big goals and reframe it to mesh with what I want now.

To accept that it’s okay not to ride some days. To let myself not worry about that Easter chocolate I ate. To remind myself that I’m not trying to qualify for anything or that race weight is something to think about anymore.

I still want to be fit and strong. But it’s for different reasons now. Now it’s so I can easily ride with my friends and enjoy being on the bike. It’s so I can go on a three-hour mountain bike ride and not be wrecked for two days. It’s so I can do a gravel race and the next day still have the desire and energy to go for a ride and to yoga.

So this is where I’m at right now today. I’m pretty confident that on Thursday I’ll be out riding. But today, the bike stays in the garage and the weights in the basement won’t be picked up and put down.

Instead I’ll do what my physio told me to do – to focus on breathing.


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