Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Indian Summer of the Mind

Riding on Sunday, November 8th I surpassed my totals from the entire month of October in both miles and number of rides. It's true that the weather was warmer and less squishy in these first weeks of November, but some of it has been mind-over-matter. I realized that given the gear I own, if it's not pouring. pitch black, or ice covered, I can ride. I probably don't want to ride in a plethora of other conditions (or combinations of conditions), but that doesn't mean I can't ride. I have accepted that I have to dress a little warmer, give myself a little more time, and be more alert to my surroundings seeing that I almost got hit twice this week...at the same intersection! Apparently motorists stop being aware of cyclists some time after Labor Day? I must have missed that memo.
This whole 'change of perspective' has been an all-around healthy thing for me. The word 'can't' is a pretty strong and absolute word. I'm trying to be more aware of my use of it. Am I using it appropriately or am I using it as an excuse for 'won't' or 'don't want to'? Realistically, I can always ride. Ride before work. Ride to work. Ride on break. Ride on my days off. Ride in the rain -- it just makes the post-ride shower all the better. It's not just riding: I can clean, rake the yard, return e-mail, and just be a better and more patient person. All I need to do is stop thinking 'can't'. This past weekend, after knocking off three rides in three days, I raked the yard I'd been putting off for weeks, gave the basement a comprehensive once-over before the winter, and finally got my bikes cleaned up and put inside for the season. All except for one, that is. The one I will keep riding unless it's too dark, icy or otherwise too just unsafe to get out there. Is it really that I can't do things or is it that I'm too damned lazy to try? Ultimately, we can't do very few thing if we really set our minds to it. I just can't lose these last ten pounds.