It’s 7.30 on a Friday morning, yet I’m awake since 6am.
Partly thanks to my partner jolting up in the bed and telling me “you forgot to put the bins out, its collection day and I’m pretty sure I can hear the truck”.
I ran out side flip-flopped and dressing gowned, into the pissing rain and howling wind. Thinking to myself “what’s wrong with her fu*king legs”.
Instantly I thought “screw this ride with Anthony this morning, it’s miserable out”.
Anyway, I went back inside and went about my morning.
My partner is a nurse, so after a few days of working on the trot and things getting a little fragile, I cooked up a bit of breakfast and told her I’d drive her to work.
The only problem was, I had a lot of stuff to get through before I went out on that ride with Anthony today, which was at 10 am by the way.
Phone calls, emails, coaching and client queries and scrambled eggs alongside being a motivational psychologist for the missus prior to her third 13-hour shift.
I was like a pressure cooker and as crap as the weather was, I was itching to get out the door and clear my head.
Snorkels and all.
You see, as a former pro, cycling was previously the central component of my life– it almost completely defined who I was.
It’s somewhat of a selfish existence and to be very good I believed it had to be that way.
It was my main stressor, as nothing else really mattered all that much in my eyes.
Boy was life simple.
My point is that unless you’re a fully-fledged aspiring pro, cycling needs to be your outlet.
I spoke to a client yesterday after a short spin to the café.
To give the chat some context, my client was previously a very busy software engineer who eventually had enough and walked out of his job.
Along with some up-skilling, cycling has become his world when he decided to take the bones of a year out of work.
He has gone from cramming in sessions to his busy schedule, to his training becoming the central component of his day.
People have this common misconception that the more time you have the easier it must be.
Yeah, of course it’s easier to find time for more sessions, that pretty apparent.
However, with more time comes a vast array of additional components that you don’t realise until you’ve lived it.
He reckons it’s a case of “the grass is always greener” and I agree.
You see when the bike becomes your central focus along with little else, you can get frustrated, very frustrated and I’ll tell you why.
Cycling is a game of patience and consistency and there’s an unrealistic expectation that it happens really fast.
It doesn’t, if you are sitting around thinking about it all the time you can easily get frustrated and anxious causing a tonne of unwanted additional stress.
Before you know it, the bike is a chore and the freedom machine is no more.
Let the bike be your de-stressor, or medicine if you will.
When I was a full time cyclist, I for one would have dreaded going out in that weather today.
But with a 3-hour window and a mad looking stressed head, I was straight out the door.
Instead of coming back and over analysing everything I switched focus onto something else. Non-cycling related. (At least for a few hours!)
The adaptations will come, but not any quicker if that’s all you’re thinking about, to the stage it consumes you!
You know what the say, “the grass will never grow fast enough if you sit watching it”…
I think I just made that up, but I like it.
When you do, the frustration at the slow rate of progression causes anxiety and stress.
If you have read my last emails this means your training will be affected drastically.
So take it from someone who has lived on both sides of the fence.
Let cycling by thy medicine and not thy chore!