Monday, June 13, 2011

Work, Life, Cycling - Scaled to fit. (NVGP - Part 3)


The Balance  

The highs and lows of cycling for an amateur cyclist like myself are a lot different than what the pros experience.  Personally I find my highs to be times when I have nothing to worry about but riding my bike:  not having to worry about if I'll have my suit dry-cleaned in time for work, or if I am going to have time to make it to the grocery store in between my Sunday race and my Monday workday, or if I'm going to be able to fit in any quality training or enough sleep throughout the week.  Obviously, lows would be defined when it's stressful to get to a race because I have too many other things to focus on outside of cycling. 

Racing my bike is a privilege and if it weren't for work and other responsibilities, I could imagine myself riding a high for as long as I can turn the pedals over.  Maybe this is a childish dream, but it's still a beautiful picture, a simple one with lots of fresh air and beautiful views; there are a lot worse dreams to pursue than this.  Alas, unless I win the lottery, I will be tip-toeing the delicate balance between work, life, and cycling.   
Things seem to change pretty rapidly and almost always unexpectedly for me, so I'll use the past few days up until now as an example of what this balance looks like. 

I am at work.  Sounds tough right?  No no, let's be clear, I'm using my break time to write this.  I just possibly had my last coffee for quite a while.  I've been struggling with acid reflux and heartburn for over two weeks, regardless of what I eat or drink.  I've got a doctor's appointment in a few hours during my lunch break to see what the Doc thinks.  I'm very tired today.  I raced two NRC criteriums over the weekend and got a lot of good speed training in.  I raced as expected, trying to attack and get in moves as much as possible, but no fruit for my labor.  I'm saving that for Nature Valley.  I didn't really want to race yesterday with all the things I had left to do at home.  I spent last night doing laundry and organizing what items were okay to move into storage because of the basement flooding, and what items I would need when I get back from Minnesota to get me through the rest of the month before moving into a new place.  I also started making a list of items I'm hoping to recover from the damage.  I'm headed to a final round interview immediately after work tonight for a group house in Columbia Heights that I'm very interested in.  I broke my retainer.  Krazy Glue seems to have saved it, but tastes funny... that's probably really bad for me.  I need to make a list today to make sure I don't forget anything tomorrow.  My flight leaves at 6:15 AM.  I'm going to have to get a cab because of the timing.  I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there.  But I'll have to spend 6 hours working remotely from the host house.  I just sent in my request for time off for the big stage races, Toona and Cascade, in July.  That'll likely mean more crammed work schedules and graveyard shifts.  I need to book my hotel for Nationals and my flight for Cascade. 

All of this ignores some of the things in life that most people value:  friendship and meeting people off the bike.  I hope I'll be able to squeeze in a date in the next couple months.  That's part of the balance severely suffering right now.  This is why people use online dating websites, right? 

At least I performed a masterful job on my beard, trimming it into a mustache for the Nature Valley Grand Prix.  The handlebar didn't turn out as originally planned, but I'll take the monopoly guy look.  My priorities are just fine.

I'm really looking forward to sharing my dreams for the NVGP during my layover in Wisconsin tomorrow!

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