I believe in paths and journeys. that we each walk our own path through life, and that everyone's life is a unique journey. our paths may twist and weave and sometimes double-back on themselves, but they are always paths that move us forward on our journeys.
I believe one part of everyone's life journey is to develop compassion. compassion toward self, and compassion toward all others. yes, all others. and the simplest way to develop compassion is to realize that each of us has their own journey to experience, and that every journey includes challenges and obstacles. every one. whether we can see those obstacles or not, they are there.
cycling is part of my current path. I don't know how long it will be with me, or in what form. as I've mentioned, I am at that place of questioning why I am doing this to the extent I am. (also known as 'burnout'.)
at present, I have a goal to reach: I will ride my 206 miles on september 6th. and thus I must keep training and be prepared for that event. but after that . . . I am not sure. I enjoy being fit; I like being able to see my muscles and feel their strength. I like knowing I am capable.
but can I do this at a slightly less intense level? do I have to ride 235 miles a week, with canyons involved in almost every ride?
the real question: will I let myself decrease the intensity?
the problem: I want to be better.
the only solution I see: I have to keep working hard ~ how will I get better if I don't challenge myself?
I want to be able to ride when I want, where I want, and I want it to be slightly challenging, not greatly challenging. do I want too much?
will I get there if I keep doing this?
an example: one day I'd like to say to myself, "I think I'll ride up to brighton today, and then ride up millcreek," and myself will reply, "great! that will be fun!"
my current self would reply, "oh.... are you sure? remember how hard storm mountain is? and then at the top, how your legs don't ever want to do that last little climb? and then you want to add millcreek on after that? are you nuts?"
I'm not sure where I'm headed. do I want to be one of those people who've done lotoja 10 times? will I be a quitter if I stop at 2? do I want to be someone who rides 20 miles a day for the joy and workout? or do I want to be someone who rides 230 miles a week because it's part of a training plan?
today I don't have the answer. I'm not sure there is an answer yet.
which brings to mind robert frost and his two roads diverging in a yellow wood . . .
one of life's greatest challenges is that each of us is but one traveler, and we have to make choices along the way.
I'm looking down my road, far as I can, to where it bends in the undergrowth . . .
(with apologies to mr. frost)