Saturday, June 1, 2013

When life gets in the way

This blog will likely touch on a more personal level for those of us who are struggling right now in general. But we all struggle sometimes to find that balance. Lifes balance is an existential thing in general. Work/life or kids or financial or riding/hobbies.

I'm experiencing some major struggling on all fronts right now - work, home, riding, health. In this vain in it's fair to say that one or more is affecting the other.

What do we do when this happens? How do we cope and ride and survive without extra guilt over not meeting any of our intended goals? Without the "life could always be worse speech"... I like to talk in terms of our own reality. When things are bad in my house it doesn't make me feel better to think about poor kids in Africa starving (sorry kids in Africa)... I just have to map out a plan and do it. That's the engineer in me and I'm happy for it. Each in our own way must deal and this blog is dedicated to that struggle.

Work... not everyone has that easy schedule or is retired and can cycle any ole time they please. My days are 9 hours without the commute time and by the time I get home I'm zapped of any energy. 

Making it happen gets harder as the weather heats up and it will be well over 100 degrees here when I'm arriving home. I have to get very early rides in the summer. Or... this year has been 

Rain... rain... threat of rain and more rain. 

Some of you have family obligations... adding more pressure to the struggle and guilt. 

Money... either a lack of to take of your family, bills, obligations or even a lack of to buy cycling supplies for your hobby! I mean we're not crazy enough to give up food/bill/mortgage to buy anything for the bike. If you did you'd be back to the guilty part of this loop!

Finally... we get to depression, something many people suffer from and it's a self feeding loop. This is the end of the loop for me. Before I would allow myself to pop some pills or let my emotions get the best of me I look at my bike. I know that, more than anything else, riding will fix more than it breaks. 

There is something indescribable about pushing yourself to physical limits and giving your mind time to rest. The worry will be back, but the peace and quiet from the road will help clear my mind. Sure, that guy honking at me, trying to run my over is all of part of the fun. When I can push myself to get on the bike it helps me feel less of those things above. 

I'm not going to say that cycling will save the world from ruin, but I think that more physical activity... even walking... is the way to improving our general mental condition. The bills will be there when we get back, but we can have some peace for a short period of time and it helps you re-group! Our minds need a break... so go for a walk, run, ride and let everything wait. Take your spouse, your kids, your dog and let the rest wait. Instead of that bag of chips, or snack from the machine... go for a walk. Get up, get out and move... I promise, it works.