Monday, January 4, 2010

Reflections

It's been a long time, dear Blog. Thought I would update, because it is a new year, and because I am frustrated.

I am a busy person. I balance a busy life: Professorship, (department chair currently), dogs, show dogs, an active lifestyle (cycling, running, pilates), a messy case of hypothyroidism, and usually do ok at it. I am actually happier than I have been in quite some time. However, every time I log into facebook and see another post about someone going to the gym at 5am, or training 25 hours a week, or climbing 30K feet, or a team email berating the folks who are not goign on 120 mile training rides with 10K climbing, it gnaws at my self esteem. Should I be riding more? Training more? Do I really have to do this to feel good about myself?

I haven't been going on group rides lately. I decided to try and climb more, and drive my car less, which means less car trips to ride my bike. It seemed possible, since I live right in the midst of wonderful riding. It is mostly working for me. I still have great riding buddies, I am still getting out, and I'm having more time to get my work done, as I am avoiding the extra 45 minutes in the car, or the extra 20 miles to ride to/from the group rides. I still will do some of them now and then, but for the most part I'm pretty happy with this plan.

And racing? Well, right now, I can take it or leave it. One of my teammates crashed really badly last year, and although I didn't know it at the time, it did affect me pretty substantially. I went on to race (and win) after that, but I really don't want to ever crash like that. There is a pretty huge luck element in racing, and although I love the adrenaline rush, I also love my life, and want to keep it going for some time! I am having a lot of fun riding, but as I will never be a mountain goat, the safer road races are probably not in my future. I am a sprinter.

Do I seem weak to the folks who train 20 hours a week, and don't see me on group rides anymore? Do I seem like a pansy because I am opting for runs or walks on the beach with my dogs and a 3 hour ride, instead of a 5 hour, 120 mile 'team' event? I think I am battling my own mind on this one...and as usual, I am my worst critic. I keep telling myself that I am enjoying life, and I have the power to choose to enjoy it, and it doesn't just mean always doing the hardest thing.

Happy 2010 everyone!!

4 comments:

velogirl said...

you're not weak at all. you're STRONG for voicing your opinions and not feeling the need to succumb to the peer pressure of the sport.

a balanced life = a happy and successful life.

chatterbox said...

Hey Kim -

Pleasantly surprised to see you posting again. Thanks!

Count me as one who supports you and understands how you feel. I've been thinking on and off about the whole bike racing rat race and how it fits in my life. I have come to the conclusion that I am happier with entering the "low risk" races ever since Rick's bad accident. But, then, I still spend 15 hours a week training....which means missing out on some fun rides, because they don't fit in the "plan". And, there are some times that I'd rather meander through a forest with friends on foot than get on my bike. And, there are some more meaningful things I'd like to take on in my spare time, but unless I become independently wealthy, the cycling is the obvious candidate for scaling back. So, where does that leave me? I don't know.

Anyway, I think it's healthy to re-evaluate regularly. And, when something "fun" ceases to be fun, then you should question why you continue to impose it on your life.

I hope you find fun and joy in 2010 - whatever that means for you! Happy New Year!

CyclistRick said...

Hey Kim,

I bet you can guess my sentiments. Life is about having fun and enjoying what you do. If something is making you tense and in a place where you are not enjoying the activity then take a step back, as you have, and spend that time doing something else for a while. Maybe you will get back to the first activity (racing in this case) but only when you feel it is right. I did sign up for one race last year, Pescadero; I thought I was mentally ready but not physically, so I went to watch Sarah race in the district TT championships instead.

You are an amazing, accomplished individual. Feel proud of your journey and accomplishments, and have fun at whatever you decide to do with your time.

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Thanks, everyone! As expected, friends are always supportive...it is more the battle with my own competitive brain that is the harder one to win. I have perseverence, though....

Life is good.