Week four into my 40 day cycle odyssey done! I have had a magical week of riding. The mind shift, the body adapting, the habitual process of things have all but moved along like a sweet song. However, do not misinterpret that it has been a week of pure bliss. With effort comes some discomfort but at the same time also finding the will to keep going.
With the will to keep going, it has also allowed a page in the book of my perseverance to be stored in a chapter somewhere deep in my subconscious. Hopefully when the moments come, when all seems really long, hard and daunting, I can pull out the chapter, find the page and reaffirm that it says; I’ve got this! I can do it!
There are many cyclists in the area I live and having trained and cycled the past twenty five years in groups and on my own, mainly road biking and racing until about six years ago when I started the switch to mountain biking, I have over the past two years spent many hours on my own training. I have had a number of invites to join groups for group rides of which I have really appreciated the gesture but just this weekend it dawned on me that I am very comfortable in my own company.
Sometimes the arrangements to meet, decisions on where to ride, people not pitching, should we go, should we wait debate and so on had me realizing that with me just getting on my bike and riding, making my own decisions on what time to leave, where to head, how far to go, when to pit-stop, how long to stop, changing a course of direction mid ride and more, brings on a sense of adventure as well as a sense of selfishness I guess, within me that I seem to thrive on and enjoy.
I do also believe that riding with a hearing impairment also plays a role in that it isolates me whilst riding in a group as I do not engage in much conversation due to wind noise and not being able to always hear clearly on what is being said, hence riding and training on my own pretty much evens out the score. I have been bemused that in the distant past, I have been thought of as being rude by not replying or engaging in conversation that has been afforded to me at times. This has been purely because I did not realize or failed to hear properly. I have found people normally understanding of this when I inform them of the realities. This had also caused some embarrassment for me when it happens but I live through it. I generally feel I mean well to all I come in contact with but at unintentional moments like these, others may or could perceive otherwise.
Generally and as a contradiction to what I’ve just said, I do believe man is not destined to live his/her life alone. With my outlooks, I think there are only four or five people that really understand me. The rest I believe run on assumptions. As the quote saying goes and I believe applies to a lot of people as well as some not; ‘I am not in a competition with anyone else. I ride my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone else. I just aim to improve, to become a better person than I was yesterday. That’s me’.
In for the long haul
The training week has been good! Basic stats put on the table again. This past week saw a 28% increase on distance covered. 27% increase on time spent in the saddle and 18% increase in the amount of climbing on a bike, concluded a worthwhile build week for me. I believe a little of the interval training has also helped a bit. Over the past four week I have managed to shed 4.4kgs of weight and I can already feel the difference on the bike yet that little rubber band of flubber around my mid section, even though smaller than before still appears. I am positive and hopeful that over the next four weeks to come, more changes will appear and I should be at my goal weight. In the past week gone I unfortunately gave into some of my vices but yet was pleasantly surprised that I could still shed 1.1kgs. At middle age they say your body clock starts to slow down. My turbines still seem to be turning. I was pretty impressed! No guilt!
Crossing the landscape
People have asked for the magic potion but there is none. It is all just a conscious decision that one must make to cut out all the ‘bad stuff’ and ride the storm as your mind and body renders resistance to the challenge. It takes 21 days to form a habit they say. At 26 days, I am starting to believe it!