Wednesday, September 3, 2008

on roads, ports, and lotoja

remember the other day when all I wanted to write about was the moon?
this morning, all I want to write about is being cold . . . actually, I should use the power of positive thinking and write about being warm. okay, blue skies, hot, powerful sun, sweating, heat, fire, baking, roasting . . .
I am still shivering, a good hour and a half after returning from my ride. yes, my house is on the cool side (someday I'll go into the joys and frustrations of radiant heat), but I think I chilled myself more deeply than I thought while riding this morning.
so I will keep thinking warm thoughts while I sit here sipping hot coffee, wrapped in a blanket, typing away on the subject of goals.
we're supposed to have them. right? they say if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there . . . which implies adventure to me, but apparently, to the focused part of the world, this means lack of direction results in lack of results.
another great quote is attributed to Montaigne, "no wind favors he who has no destined port."
that one makes me think. especially as a cyclist who pays attention to wind: what about the winds which do NOT appear to favor me? will they exist, as well? regardless of my destined port? so, truly then, am I any worse off to not have a port in mind?
I semi-reluctantly registered for lotoja last april after much thought, deliberation, soul-searching, and a few conversations with fellow cyclists. what tipped me over the edge into "yes" was what biking buddy bob had to say about it. I said to him that I wasn't sure I wanted to have to work so hard all summer in training for the event, and bob replied that he feared what he might do if he did not have lotoja to train for. I looked at it from that perspective and thought, he's right, if I don't have this huge thing to have to work for, do I trust myself enough to work hard at all? what will I choose to do if I don't have a significant goal hanging out there in front of me?
I feared I would slack off, and not push myself. that I wouldn't strive for better, faster, stronger anymore. that I would say a five-hour ride was enough. that I would stay at the same level, or worse, slip backwards.
and today, what do I think?
will I sign up again for next year's ride?

I don't know.

I'd like a slightly less stressful goal, but I don't know what that would be.
on the other hand, I like my sticker on the car and my "medal" for finishing, and would like to have another.
then on that third hand, the issue of balance arises, though I do feel less out of balance this year than last.

I know where I'm going, and I believe that more than one road will take me there. I also believe that ultimately all winds favor me, for each experience they bring me ~ whether I like it or not ~ will just take me one step closer to being the best me possible.

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