Breathing In

It’s Sunday, the last day of my week-long vacation. My plan was to go mountain biking today. Last night I got my gear organized, filled up the Camelbak, set the alarm for a shiny 5:30, and went to bed looking forward to riding at Larose Forest.

And now here I sit at 8:37 in the morning. Not riding. I barely slept last night. My lower legs kept me awake. I was restless. At around 4:00 this morning, I turned off my alarm.

Doing this stirred up a lot of conflicted emotions. This is not something I do. I decide to go mountain  biking – so I go mountain biking. Never before would I let a little thing like feeling tired stop me from getting out and having fun. But this is a new time.

In fact this entire week off has been a new experience for me. It started with the hiking weekend in New Hampshire. I returned home on Monday with lots of plans to ride everyday and to get out and really enjoy my city.

Well, remember a few months ago when I spoke about the ability to reset and controlling your controllables? These key tenets ruled my week off. I realized I was too tired from the weekend away to do what I had planned.

I was forced to adjust. Instead of the riding everyday plan – I rode twice. I did have a great day downtown wandering the Byward Market and spending lots of time enjoying the National Gallery of Canada. And the rest of the week? I chilled out. I slept in, I hung out with friends, I did a lot of sketching, and there was a side trip to the dentist.

So yeah, not what I had planned. And to top it off, I decided not to do the Gravel Guys event this past Saturday and I sold my entry to Rooted Vermont next weekend.

This is new for me. Normally I make plans, set goals, and build my life around them. Not now. Maybe this is a sign of a big transition period for me. It’s been really hard for me to move from cycling as training to cycling as pure enjoyment. For a long time my life was attached to performance and getting the most out of my body – this determined ever aspect of my life.

It has taken hanging out with people who aren’t knee deep in cycling culture for me to realize how this is no longer a balanced approach for me. Nor is it what I want anymore. It’s okay if I eat the cookie (or two) and not ride my bike (even if it is a Sunday).

I’m hitting the reset button. This wasn’t the week off I had planned – but it was an important week  for me. I was forced to slow down and be okay with not always being doing things.

I’m controlling the controllables. And this means now not being tied to structure, rigid training plans, and being open to new things and people.

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs and roadblocks – I guess the key is looking at these as opportunity and a chance to  reassess. Time to hit reset and to be okay with this.

2 thoughts on “Breathing In

  1. You’re making an important mindset shift. Change sometimes feel uncomfortable in the midst but at the other side we’re much more comfortable

    • Thanks Barbara. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I haven’t raced seriously since 2011 but it’s so hard to change mindset. Looking forward to an early morning ride with no obligations or pressure.

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