Pick a Sport

Last night as I turned on my bicycle headlight to ride home from yoga my legs screamed up at me, “Pick a sport!”

Annoyed, I replied, “Yoga isn’t a sport. It’s an activity.” My legs were unimpressed. I was tired going home, with little in the tank.

All the way across the Hawthorne Bridge I was trying to concoct a strategy that would allow me to get in a daily ride, a daily run and a daily yoga session. Since yoga is a fixed entity all I could come up with was ride in the morning, run at lunch, yoga after work.

Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of running at lunch. I have to shower when I get here in the morning after my ride in and I don’t want to have to shower twice within 6 hours. It’s kind of wasteful, not to mention the fact that it’s really hard on my skin.

We’ll see how it goes. The running part is what I’ve been missing lately and a big factor in my lack of fitness on the bike. I have to work it in and I have to work it in soon. I also have to get better technical skills, and fast. Sam and I went to a park on Saturday and rolled around, practicing dismounts and remounts. I left the park a little bit discouraged – the skills aren’t coming as fast as I’d like them to. Watching the race on Sunday was intimidating.

We cruised through trails in Mt. Tabor and he took me down some really, really technical gnarly drops on river-rock. I didn’t know it was coming up and all the sudden I was standing on my pedals, weight way back, squeezing my back brake like my life depended on it. (It did.) Sam called over his shoulder, “Just relax, you’re fine!” Afterward he said the look on my face was one of sheer terror. I was kind of pissed that he didn’t give me more warning but he said, “Warning wouldn’t have helped. You were fine – you made it down, see?”

Yeah, yeah. I was just pissed because he made me suffer something fierce on the climbs through the park. That man has a power-to-weight ratio that is super-human. In those moments when I am in full distress and he is chattering away at me telling me how good I am doing, I want him dead. Really, I am imagining a million ways to kill him.

It’s strange how I am not as good at handling pain on the bike. When we go running together I’m the chipper one who is pushing the pace and he’s the one glaring and planning my imminent death. I haven’t figured out why I’m such a pansy on the bike yet but I’m bound and determined to find out and fix it.

All Saturday while we rode I was screaming in my head, ” You will NOT suck!!! DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO SUCK!!!”

That’s probably not the positive self-talk I should be doing but it’s just how I felt. Some days are good and some days are bad and Saturday I just wasn’t feeling great.

Josh and I met at Stumptown this morning, killed a double espresso and shoved off for a short, hour-long ride. It was freezing and dark and we could just barely see our breath in front of us as we pedaled along. We were numb by the time we rolled back to Stumptown for a nice, hot mug of coffee. We sat in the window with some people we’ve come to know there and talked about yoga and Sunday’s race at Barlow. One of the kids that we were talking to races in the A Category and it was interesting to hear his report.

I was loathe to leave the semi-warmth of the coffee shop but we forced ourselves back out into the crisp air and coasted down Salmon Street into downtown, teeth chattering as we went.

“How cold do you think it is?” I asked him.

“Oh… I don’t know… it must be like high 40′s or 50?”

“Are you insane!? It has to be colder than that!!”

I was mortified. 50?! If he is right then I am screwed and there is no way in hell that I will EVER make good on my vow to commute all the way through the winter.

When I got to work I discovered that it was actually 37 degrees. :) Much better. And probably colder when I left the house at 5:45am.

Unpack the booties, get out the ear warmers, find your winter gloves. It’s getting serious.

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