Monday, October 20, 2008

love hate

yesterday afternoon I encountered more friendly cyclists than usual.
I'm beginning to wonder if they ~ in general ~ are nicer in the afternoon? after coffee, breakfast, lunch, a day of work, whatever it may be, are they perhaps more grateful that they've escaped their day and are out riding, so they're friendlier than the early morning folk?
I actually had a brief conversation with another cyclist yesterday, more than the overly gregarious "hi, how are ya" "good thanks" exchanges I can sometimes squeeze out of a fellow cyclist.
this is what happened:
I'm riding along, up emigration, waving at all the cyclists heading downhill on the opposite side of the road. and all of the sudden I sense another body slightly behind me. I turn to my left, and start to say "hi" to the completely outfitted guy who is pulling up alongside me but before I get much of a word out he animatedly says, "Oh, I thought you were a friend of mine! I just chased you down, oh, how embarrassing." during this monologue I gave a small laugh, smiled a lot, and offered "not at all," before he pealed off and headed back down the hill.
total conversation length: nine seconds?
a huge conversation, and this, on a friendly day.
I thought people said that if you start doing something you love, you'll meet people. people who love doing what you love, and what better kind of friends to make?
I want to tell them that cycling is different.
now that I have that out of my system, I'll progress to today's theme.
I work hard when I ride.
I love it.
and I hate it.
and you must understand that I don't really mean hate: I mean "gosh I don't like this because it's HARD and I want to STOP and I want to sit on the couch and read and I wish I could just QUIT because it's so HARD!!!" that's what I mean by "hate."
and I wonder if all artists/athletes/other normal people feel this way about whatever it is they are trying to master. I am assuming that most of us struggle with the work, the practice, the repetition of learning a new skill. that it's not all glory and joy. that there is pain and effort and intensity and difficulty encountered on the road to mastery.
I am still on the (hopefully steep) upward learning curve. and the (hopefully steep as well) upward training curve. I am hoping that it won't always be quite this difficult, that I won't always be in zones 4 and 5 when I climb emigration. biking buddy bob can do it in zone 3: so I have hope. someday, perhaps, I will be there as well.
and that's what keeps me going. knowing that I have a ways to go. that I am only 2 years into it, that I will continue to improve if I continue to work at it.
someday that learning curve will rise more gently, but I have hopes that it will keep rising for quite a while longer.
at least until I can engage a few cyclists in some meaningful conversations.
at least until I can ride emigration in a low zone 4.
at least until I can experience more love and less hate.

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