"It's cold out today. Or, that's what I thought when I got in my car."
I'm met with a variation of that comment at least once a week when people see me with a bike in one hand and a helmet in the other. A friend once informed me, in the middle of that frigid cold snap we had back in December, that no one should be riding in this weather. It's probably true and sometimes - other than the fact that the bike just gets me there faster - I'm not sure why I still do it. I know I'm capable of riding through a Boston winter. I have nothing to prove by repeating the miserable experience.
Because while winter bike commuters deserve a gold foil star sticker, that doesn't make them - myself included - any better than any other cyclist. Tolerating the short commute from my apartment to school and back in something like 0F temperatures isn't fun, but it takes a
little lot more to do that, then go home to get back on a bicycle for a few solid hours.
Yeah, I know, it's old news. But listening to the things my friends are doing, and then actually trying to emulate even just a tiny slice of their training, is kind of like finally admitting to yourself that you're dating an asshole. First, you attribute that whole gap between yourself and your Cat 1 and 2 friends to mutant elite genes that you just don't have. Like this is as good as it's going to get, right? [Wrong.] Then those friends start to encourage separation from that lifestyle and you start to believe that it's actually possible and you're not going to die [of heartbreak or otherwise] in the process. Finally you're like WTF, I can do way better than this and I'm going to prove it and you dump the motherfucker [or in this case, the couch and TV].
But when people have real jobs that don't include "student" somewhere in the title, training apparently involves things like getting up at 5.30am to spin for an hour, then going to work and afterwards hitting the gym, running and riding on the weekends and spending every waking moment not in bed or on the toilet in the saddle. And finding myself in that slight limbo where I don't really know what I'm doing, I'm tempted to regress to the familiar confines of my couch and wasting countless hours on the Internet. Even if, like any overdue break-up, I know that once I man up about this, I'm never going to want to go back to what I had going before.
So I've been trying. To not make excuses, that is. I'm trying to spend more and more time on the rollers [love those things] while retaining all my other time commitments. Which presents a very obvious and elementary math problem of not having enough hours in the day [another reason why I am currently in awe of all of those in training; they have somehow managed to control time by leading fairly regular lives while getting in 3-4 hour rides at least every other day]. And on top of all that, they also have the ability to push themselves really, really hard. When they're alone. In their houses. On their trainers. If that doesn't turn you on, you need to go find another blog to read [...maybe this break up won't be so hard, afterall?].
With my complete lack of discipline and the desire to stop when things get ridiculously sweaty, at least half of me is fairly sure that I'll meet spring still out of shape and whining in the pedals. But like my regular announcements to best friends after a break up that I will never, ever date another man again, I'm hoping that thinking positive in the face of the seemingly impossible might be enough to prove me wrong. If not, I'll at least get skinny trying.
Or so I hope.