Friday, January 27, 2012

Change'll do ya good!

This is the first winter in recent times that I can remember NOT being inundated with training, training, training.  Still, for most people I'm "training" a ton, yet for the average, "type-A" endurance athlete, I'm a lazy bum.  And I'm ok with that.

As I've said before many times on this blog, I'm taking a break from nearly all things competitive.  I haven't, since the time I was 5 years old, not been involved with some form of competitive sport.  I never took a season off, and I never, mentally, relaxed.  A lot of my childhood was taken up with trips to games, tournaments, and the like.  Hockey, baseball, and lacrosse really ruled my sporting world.  I never thought, or even cared, to give myself some time to be interested in anything else.

Fast forward, and I'm now on the doorstep of 31 years old (9 days away!!!), and I'm a little burned out.  I've done everything from Badminton to MMA fighting, from triathlon to bodybuilding.  I feel like that Sinatra Song: //I've been up and down and over and out// get the gist.  My body is still in some of the best shape I've ever been, though my mind is about as ready to compete as a soggy paper towel.

I've been in a good place with my riding these past months and I think it's the direction I'm looking to go in the future.  Recently, there's been a lot being made of the "new" form of Enduro Mountain Bike racing popular in Europe.  (see for explanations in their "Enduro Week")  This type of racing is right where I need to be.  Fun, mixed with social interaction, and more fun.  Most parts of the "race" (see "ride") can take as long as you want them to, and when it's your time to bomb downhill and actually "race", it's short and concise, so as to get back to the palling around and heckling with friends.  To me it's the reason, be it subconsciously, that mountain biking attracted me.  There's more to riding a bike than lycra, power meters, aerodynamics, etc., etc., etc....  Enduro is what we do with buddies on any given weekend.  It's what mountain biking is about at its core.

So as I look out on the raindrops falling outside, and the chilly temps, I'm content to forgo riding the bike for today and instead take care of house chores and other "real life" things that I most likely would have neglected if I were still in my "type-A" endurance athlete mode.  I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm only saying that for me, it has been enough to take a step back and evaluate what I really want and expect from riding my bike.  Be yourself, to yourself, and forget about what you should be doing.  Do it because it speaks to you.  Do it because it makes you happy.  And most importantly do it because it makes you smile.  Just don't forget that while you're doing it, there ARE other things going on in the world.

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