One reason to keep going when the going gets tough.
Everyday I cycle to work.
I set myself the goal of doing it everyday, without fail.
I started doing it 18 months ago and I’m sure it’s getting harder.
Sure I’m getting older but I’m no less fit than I was when I started. I’ve even changed the tyres and pedals on my bike, to make road riding easier.
I’ve realised why, it’s become harder it’s all down to my mental attitude.
When you have to do something, it takes the spontaneous pleasure out of it.
It becomes routine.
And the trouble with routine is that it becomes a bit of a bind, an effort, like you’re on a never ending treadmill.
So how do I stop it becoming routine?
Easy, I do nothing, nature takes care of it.
I’ll give you an example.
The hardest days, I experience, biking to work, are the days where there’s extended periods of perfect conditions for riding.
Because if my bike is working properly and the weather is great, all I have to focus on, is myself.
I start to notice my legs tiring or my lungs struggling.
When its raining or my pedal is falling off my focus is directed away from my internal struggle to the external challenges.
For the last two weeks my seat has started to tilt backwards and oddly the result of this, has been my trousers slipping down.
I’d be aware my waistband gradually sliding down until it felt as if my backside was on display to all passing vehicles.
It slowly dawned on me why I was receiving more honks from overtaking cars, not because I was slowing them down but because I was mooning them.
So every couple of hundred yards, usually at traffic lights, I’d have to yank my trousers back up as high as they’d go to overcompensate for them slipping down.
I’d tried tightening up my seat but nothing seemed to work.
Then on Friday, as I rode in, my saddle went really slack, so I found myself straining to stop sliding, off the back, onto my back tyre.
Riding back home was even worse.
The seat had flipped right back so all I could do to stop myself being impaled on the pointy bit of the seat was stand up.
I never realised how hard it was to cycle standing up until that moment.
Every now and again, feeling the fatigue in my thighs I’d forget why I was standing up, go to sit down and get a cheeky reminder from behind.
Thankfully I took my seat to a bike shop on the weekend and they replaced a fractured bracket.
So today I rode in with a newly secured seat and it was a breeze (not down the back of my trousers I’d like to point out).
This is one reason to keep going when the going get’s tough because it make me a better rider when the going eases up.
Of course this ride on easy street won’t last for long before it becomes routine again.
So I’ve come to realise that I need to hit the potholes or bumps in the road, as it helps me appreciate the smooth parts, just as the uphill struggles helps me enjoy the downhill freewheeling.