Transcendence

Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Merce...

Dec 14, 2017

Silencing the Shoulds

Today was one of those days. After a good ride yesterday and knowing that I should have kept going a little longer after my workout, I woke up to a dusting of snow and ice down low with several inches up in the mountains. At first, I had grand plans of heading out for a few hours on my fat bike. After all, that's what I have it for - so I can ride outside when the conditions are less then ideal. But as the day progressed, the motivation to bundle up gradually faded, made worse by the melting snow at home. It would be wet and cold and I'd need to spend time cleaning my bike after my ride. I spent much of the morning dealing with the "shoulds." I should have paid more attention to the weather and ridden longer yesterday. I should just buck up and head out in the snow, that's what all the tough athletes do. I should stop whining about the weather - I have clothes and gear for all conditions. I should have more confidence in my tolerance for crappy weather - after all I've posted many photos all bundled up semi bragging about how badass I was for riding outside. So many "shoulds" that took the idea of playing in the snow and made it into work.

In the end, after many times peaking out the window and poking my nose outside, I finally gave into what I perceived as a lack of motivation and lack of general badassness. I gathered my gear and skulked into the basement to ride the trainer. I must be getting soft in my old age, I decided. It really wasn't that cold after all and I really should have just gone outside. But as I started pedaling, I realized something. While we always celebrate the crazy - the people who head outside regardless of anything - it all comes down to quality and mental toughness as well as guts. Perhaps the "shoulds" don't mean as much when balanced with the "dids" I did ride longer then planned yesterday and had a solid workout. I did weigh the pros and cons of riding outside before my pedal and decided safety and convenience was just as important as proving how tough I am. I did make the most of my time inside, turning it into a quality workout instead of just another sufferfest. I took measure of all the shoulds I had saddled myself with and the guilt that came with them and turned them in positives of what I did. There will be days to demonstrate how tough (and perhaps stupid) I am. But until they come, I have to look at what I am doing to reach my goals. I can't let the ideas of what everyone else is doing become the shoulds that can hold me back.