“I’ve been doing what you told me to do.” I looked at Ed with what I assumed was a mild panic. We hadn’t seen him in a while, he’s on a team, gets a discount at some other shop, and only comes in when he’s on a ride and having problems. I can’t remember what I told him to do, and I can only think that it was some misguided bit of old school wisdom that is only right when it comes from the mouth of an older wiser rider. That is to say: Not from me.
“Oh yeah? What did I tell you to do?”
“You told me that if I saw a road that I thought looked cool that I should take it. I’ve been riding all those roads just off my regular routes. It’s been really good.”
Now I remembered. I saw Ed ride by nearly everyday in the summer. Which only means that he was headed for the south end loop, or for a lap around Mercer Island. By the end of the summer he had the look of boredom and burn out in this eyes and face. He might have said something about being tired. That’s when I suggested that he just go out and have fun. There would be a time to ride the well worn routes and do intervals, but only after some kind of reset. That advice was apparently just what Ed needed. He had to do something different.
A little while later it was my turn to receive some advice. Reading that advice, and then seeing the pile on as it was retweeted and favorited and responded to hurt a little. The dispensers of the much needed advice weren’t being hurtful, and neither were the endorsements of their advice. It hurt because they were right, and it was being made clear how small I was being. It was made even worse by the fact that it was being dispensed by people I respect.
I have this problem, where I can become overly concerned with what others are doing. I’m not sure where it comes from; I’ve always worked to unpack other issues during my time in therapy. Sometimes it’s about, how whoever sets their bikes up, does their writing work. Other times it’s about the tide of what’s currently cool in cycling, and how they now set the agenda for how one should: look, talk about riding, and how they should be riding: ie going out and having fun and feeling bad for people who are out training. In short, I’m worrying about a bunch of shit that doesn’t really matter. A lot of that happened here on this blog.
I never wanted to be one of the grouchy shop employees, who are so clearly over it, but when I step back I find that I am becoming one. The rut of my own riding is merely a well worn path between the front gate of my apartment and the front door of the shop. There are conditions of my currently employment, that lead to this, but those are secondary to the general trend. My own riding has gone stale. And it isn’t too far off to suggest that perhaps the worse my riding became the louder and more forceful my misguided, uninformed rants became.
I’ve had this blog for long enough that I can’t remember when it actually started. Probably sometime in October of 2009. I think. At first it was about climbing, where I also cared too much about what others were doing. Then it became about cycling. The pain I was feeling in my life, and how I was riding to find some relief from it. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about writing, and about cycling, just by working my thoughts out here.
There is a Buddhist thought about traveling through life. It involves a boat, that you use to get across a river that is blocking your path. Do you carry the boat once you’ve gotten across the river, just in case you encounter another river? The answer is no. What got you through, or across one road block, might not be the tool to get you through the next one. It’s time to let this blog go. Truth is, there are plenty of blogs out there doing the same thing and I would prefer to bow out and get my own priorties straight again, rather than bang on like a noisy gong.
robertgrunau.com will remain, but it will be uncoupled from the original wordpress blog I started. Those pages will remain at their original address. This won’t happen right away. I need to build and put something in it’s place first. I’m not entirely sure when that will happen, as I have to gain a different skill set in order to make it happen. I currently don’t have a time line for that, so it may be a while.
If you’ve been reading this blog, then I owe you a thanks. Thank you for sticking it out through all the terrible writing. It’s time for a reset, and to do something different. I’ll take the advice I was given last week and attempt to “be for” instead of against.