Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Shifting priorities

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Now that I am back in school, everything, fundamentally, has changed. I knew it would be an adjustment, but right now I can’t help but feel like my entire life is in a state of upheaval.

The good news is, almost all of the changes are good. No longer do I spend eight hours per day sitting in one place, in front of a computer. I am studying fascinating topics, and I feel liberated from the boredom I felt from writing code all day. I still enjoy programming, but I’ve realized that it’s not something I want to spend 100% of my time doing, as I have the last few years. I am going in some new and exciting directions, and it feels great.

The bad news is, I haven’t figured out yet how cycling fits into my new lifestyle. I do ride to campus, and to work, and home at the end of the day. That alone nets me about 12 miles per day, five days per week.

At first I was riding from one class to another, regardless of how close together they were. Recently I’ve started parking the bike and walking more. Sometimes I forget how much I love to walk. It’s like cycling, only even slower, and less intense, and it gives you a much better vantagepoint for observing the world around you.

The thing is, I’ve had more homework than I expected. This leaves me less time, and less energy, for riding. I’ve also had a case of the winter blues the last week or two that’s been affecting my desire to ride. My first two weeks of class have also happened to coincide with two of the toughest weeks of the entire winter. It’s been challenging just getting to class, and by the end of the week I don’t much feel like pushing myself, riding-wise. I even set a new personal record on Friday, riding in -1°F temperatures, with -8°F windchill.

Even though it’s frustrating, I’m looking at all of this as a good thing. Cycling has dominated my life, the past few years. This is a great opportunity to focus on improving myself in other ways. I’ll certainly keep riding, but realistically I think it’ll be less than before. I was accustomed to all my time being my own, outside of work. Now, homework is taking up surprising amounts of my time. I will have to fit rides in whenever I can. That’s fine with me, but it’s a tough adjustment to make.

8 Responses to “Shifting priorities”

  1. Tim S Says:

    It’s a kind of perfect storm: school, work, weather, winter blahs. Something had to give and it has been cycling, but look at it the other way, as you have, that the past couple years you’ve done significant mileage. Perhaps 20111 is just a year when you’ll get out and enjoy your bike but that every ride doesn’t have to be “epic” and you don’t feel pressured to put another number in front of those 3 “,000”. And, hey, if you’re a student, that means you’ll be out of school for summer. Right? Hmmm, what can you fill your some with?

  2. Tim S Says:

    **summer with? Take care.

  3. Bone Says:

    60 miles per week of solid utility cycling is still pretty epic, in my estimation. It’s over 3000 miles / year, assuming you don’t ride at all on weekends.

    Bikes are supposed to be fun, not a burden. Sheldon Brown isn’t going to come down from heaven and smite you for not hitting some arbitrary mileage number 🙂

  4. Bill Lambert Says:

    You’ll adjust well, I am sure. When you do get a chance to do a longer ride, I bet you’ll enjoy it even more.

  5. Chris Says:

    Sounds like you’ve already turned the corner, and are on your way and will be fine. You’ll be surprised how fast the time passes and it’s adjustment time again. Have you abandoned the upcoming 200k?

  6. John Romeo Alpha Says:

    This situation may lead to sleep-truing, a late-night repetitive action driven by the subconscious during deep sleep which can be documented with motion-triggered cameras mounted in the bicycle repair area.

  7. Apertome Says:

    Good points, all around. Just a few weeks ago I thought this year would be one for pushing my riding to the next level. So that’s part of why I’m having difficulty changing my mindset.

    I now think that, as Tim describes, it may be a year of lower-intensity enjoyment, where every ride doesn’t have to be epic. At the same time, that doesn’t preclude epic rides from happening. And Bill is right, they may be more enjoyable when they do occur.

    I haven’t necessarily abandoned any plans yet. I’m going to take things as they come. I haven’t been training for the 200k as I should, but part of me wonders if I could do it anyway. When the time comes, I’ll look at my fitness level, weather conditions, and class workload, and make a decision.

    JRA: That’d be pretty amazing, as I have no awake-truing ability. If it happens I will set up some cameras to see if I can learn something from myself.

  8. Tim Says:

    Hmm, 200km still open? Interesting. Better keep building miles.

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).