Adrift and trying to find ground.

Everyone gets into dark and stormy places at least once, sometimes more than once in their lives. That place where you feel like nothing is going your way, you’re exhausted, everyone else seems more together, more successful, stronger, and just happier than you. Have you ever been there? I know I have. It seems like lately I’ve been riding this struggle bus more than normal. Maybe it’s because I’m just mentally exhausted from work or perhaps I’m being too critical of myself. It could be that I feel a bit adrift in my goals or maybe it’s my lack of racing which has been a big part of my life for the last few years. I haven’t been able to pinpoint it exactly and maybe it doesn’t even need to be because it’s a combination of everything right now.

I’ve been trying to work my way into the fitness world, but finding the time to actually study for exams and such has proven to be difficult between work, teaching, clinics, planning, and trying to ride myself. It will happen, but perhaps in the “off season” is a better goal.  Goals? I’ve got so many of them and lately they all seem to be so far out of reach. Sometimes, I wish that I would have taken a different route through college- one that would have given me more options, but at the same time, I think about all the wonderful opportunities I was given via the music route. European trips- Spain and Italy, the people, culture, the wonderful complexity of music. Do I miss it now, sometimes, but I’m in a different place in my life now, but I do every once in a while long for that choral practice or touring. I also wonder, if I would have taken a different route, what would it have been and would I still be “wandering” a bit to find my true place? Probably, because I feel like I need variety to keep me at peace. I don’t like feeling stuck or trapped into one thing, which is the reason I teach music and mtb skills, ride and race bikes, and work a job that doesn’t remotely relate to my degree. I have a creative, active, constantly moving kind of brain.  A brain that always has a play list of various styles of music-from opera to country constantly playing. One that while that play list is going is probably planning lessons for piano and riding. One that is making grocery lists and food planning, compiling to-do lists, trying to figure out how to better organize everything I do, or plotting my next bike route…constant flow of thoughts and music. (Sheesh, no wonder I’m exhausted)

Lately, I’ve been trying to overhaul my nutrition, my thoughts, my riding, my lifestyle, all in hopes of re-grounding myself, it’s been an attempt, but mediocre one at best. So, tomorrow (Monday) I try to buckle down and dive into a new nutrition journey. Today, I challenged myself to stay positive and stay out of my head and be in the moment. 

So in my attempt to re-ground and focus, I wonder what everyone else does when they’re adrift? How do you ground?


(Now how do you ride through that when your bike doesn’t even fit?)

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Motivation

 

Desire, drive, subconscious, energy, and endorphins- some of the things that motivate people. Sure there are other motivators out there…money for one, but that’s not what motivates me. One of my motivators is that feeling of complete and utter exhaustion after good endurance ride or hard work out. I’m motivated by seeing people say “I can’t” on a bike and then do it; reminding myself how good I felt when I got myself though something difficult and wanting others to experience it. I am motivated to take care of my body and I’m motivated by feeling my best and feeling strong- this is why I drag myself out of bed a 3:50am (yep you saw that right) multiple morning a week to work out and then ride my bike after a long day at work. Granted my job isn’t physically exhausting, but dude, mental exhaustion is something fierce. I’d honestly take a 12 hour day of working my ass off physically then to be mentally exhausted. So, how am I able to do it? The key factors for me in being able to sustain this crazy lifestyle- motivation- it takes a lot of drive to get up that freaking early; nutrition- if you don’t eat enough/balanced food- you’re gonna crash out and have zero energy; and that feeling of physical tiredness- the muscle kind. I’ve had a few of those good hard exhaustions days in the last few weeks. I haven’t posted much about it, but stuff is always rolling here…

In these last few weeks, there’s been an increased time on bike- finally. I’ve been mixing it up between mtb, road, and even cx, but really just riding, not “training”. Dad I rode part of the Emerald Necklace- a 100 mile route which we will ride in its entirety this year, stay tuned for that one. It’s fun to think that when I was young, he used to stick me on the back of his bike in one of those car seat for bikes things and we’d cruise around. I can still remember riding into town or getting ice cream at Kuhar’s and now we ride together 30 years later, only I’m on my own bike now lol. I also taught some small group mtb lessons to some lil shredders and they rocked it! The future of mountain biking is looking great in this area. All of this time on bike and seeing others out riding and running on the trail, towpath, and road got me thinking; What motivates people to ride, run, lift weights, eat healthy? Is it for the exercise? The bonding? The “fun”? The health benefits? What is it…? As I continue to peruse this answer, I ask you this question: What is your motivation? Why do you ride, run, lift, eat healthy? Especially you endurance people, (myself included) why do we push ourselves to the extreme?