I have a bad case of the "guilties." If I'm on the rollers, I'm feeling guilty that I'm not doing my reading [even if I have the whole night to do it]. If I'm cooking dinner, I'm feeling guilty that I'm not out on a ride [even if it's sub-zero temperatures out]. That familiar sinking feeling has me constantly busy, and it's probably what has me springing out of bed at 6am and making coffee with one hand while compiling a to do list with the other.
This also makes me a fairly impatient person. Even when I was burning up with a fever last week, all I wanted to do was get over it so I could go on a ride or do some work for cassette or edit that pesky note. Upon expressing my
displeasure guilt at being unable to get some quality time in with my bike before school started, Mike pointed out:
"Nothing's going on right now. Everyone's waiting for it to get warmer. Don't sweat it too much."
Yeah, everyone's waiting all right. We're all perched on our saddles, waiting for calls from team mates or friends to drag our asses out in this cold. The more fortunate are waiting for new bikes for the coming season, the less fortunate are waiting for a new trainer or a few new parts. Me? I'm waiting for my face to thaw out. It's freezing outside, son.
But like the deceptively casual invite that turns into a full production that you're pretty sure you never signed up for, all this waiting has a tendency to just sneak up on you. You know how it goes. A friend will invite you out for a drink ["just one"] and all of a sudden, you're stuck in said friend's living room, waiting for her to finish doing her hair and/or going through all her outfits while she calls a small army to the casual one drink you guys were supposed to grab to decompress. Then when you finally get to the bar, you get roped into either karaoke or doing shots [or both.] And just when you're about to put your foot down and escape back to the comforting quiet of your empty apartment, another friend inevitably drops the "I just got dumped by my boyfriend" bomb. So because you can't just abandon this friend, "just one" drink turns into one of those long nights consoling a friend in the corner of a bar until either way too late or until your first friend decides to go to yet another bar, finally giving you the excuse to shove the dumped friend in a cab and call it quits yourself. That's kind of what happened when I tried to get on the rollers last night.
Okay, it wasn't nearly as embarrassing as drunken karaoke or watching me pass out at a bar after one measly shot. But the production that went into some casual spinning was fairly impressive. To be fair, I could have just pumped my completely flat tires. But it's the first time I've climbed onto those things since I left Boston for Tokyo last month and I had a sweet saddle awaiting installation. So the leopard print Bianchi saddle came off and got replaced with the white and pink Fizik saddle that looks disturbingly like I designed my track bike around it. Of course I installed it too far back the first time, so after installing it, pumping my tires, feeling guilty [again!] about not lubing my chain, and starting to pedal, I had to get off, re-adjust, make sure it was straight and level, then get back on. Doesn't sound like much, right? Except I had only planned a quick, easy spin. Considering I spent at least 10 minutes fiddling with my bike and another 5 getting changed/picking what I was going to watch on Hulu, it felt like it was almost too much effort.
But hey, it got done, and without any embarrassment [read: crashes] on my part. And at least this kind of waiting-turned-into-something-dramatic-that-involves-too-much-energy doesn't come with a hangover or a hysterically depressed friend. On the other hand, no one ever said this waiting was over. At least not for me.
For others, it's a different story. Like those who are fortunate enough to live in SoCal. Or, for those who, like Laura Van Gilder, are fortunate enough to make it to the Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic. She needs funds to go, though, and as a poor graduate student/aspiring athlete, I can more than relate. Which is why, during all this waiting, I've dropped in a donation to her donation fund. You should, too, if you haven't already. And if the existence of a woman who made it to the worlds in her second season of racing 'cross isn't enough for you, well, maybe this might do the trick.
Besides, what else are you going to do with all your recent free time?