Glory Days

I haven’t posted anything substantive on here in nearly a month.  It isn’t for lack of riding.  I’ve been riding a lot–more than ever, perhaps.  My riding has been steady efforts, for longer duration than I’d normally ride.  The positive side is that I’m building an endurance base that should suit me well for this season’s upcoming challenges–predominantly Dirty Kanza.  The downsides are numerous and include: a) boredom; b) a paucity of interesting things to blog about; and, c) a marked diminution in my top end.

I was driving home late last night, after a work meeting, and was listening to some Bruce Springsteen.  Glory Days came on, and I started to think.  I recently had one of my best friends tell me that he had reached a pinnacle, and that’s such a scary thought to me.  It’s a scary thought because it implies that a decline will soon follow.  Peak, pinnacle, plateau–they’re all concerning, because they imply a lack of improvement.

So I was driving along in the dark, wondering if there will come a point in time where I will reflect back on the past couple of years as my glory days.  That is such a profoundly depressing thought–that at some point in my life, I will reflect back and see the best of life in the past.  It frankly scares me to think about identifying a pinnacle or peak.  It scares me in so many contexts.

In the realm of riding, I know I need to bust things up a bit and start throwing down some intervals.  I know I can continue my upward growth once I change up my training regimen. I’m hopeful it will come back to me quickly.  But in the realm of life, so much is changing–and so fast.  I look forward to warm weather and more photo ops.  I look forward to opportunities to truly break in the Fuel, and share some thoughts about it.  I try to embrace the future with optimism, notwithstanding my tendencies to the contrary.

Frank Sinatra said that the best is yet to come.  Dave Matthews said that we should wash out the tired notion that the best is yet to come.  I think that what Dave meant is that we should focus on making each moment the best that it can be, rather than assuming that things will get better at some point in the future.  I think his perspective might be superior.

The future is uncertain and largely beyond our control.  I give myself over to that powerlessness with regard to things that I cannot change.  I will work to improve on the things which I can improve upon, and I will work to enjoy myself in the moments that I am fortunate enough to enjoy with my friends and family.  I will fight back with ferocity against the concept that things are at a peak or pinnacle, and I will push on to the next summit and the ones beyond.

I’ll get back to blogging with more regularity when the moment is right.  For now, I’m focusing on rebuilding my base.


3 thoughts on “Glory Days

  1. Base building isn’t the most fun, but it has to be done. I’ve been in a base building mode for well over 12 months now, and I can notice what little top end that I had has diminished. However, it’s what I need to do to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself. It seems like you had a fairly high level of fitness before starting your base building, so I think it will take just a few solid weeks of interval training will get your high end back before you know it.

    • I see your posts about 6 hour shifts on the trainer, and I have no idea how you do that. I can do 6 hours on the road, but I’d go insane on the trainer that long. My longest trainer ride was 3 hours, to watch a 3 hour long movie, and I was ready to lose it.

  2. That realization that someday we will recognize a pinnacle is exactly as you say, terrifying.

    For a long, long time, I was always comforted by guys like Jens, Horner, and Petervary, still kicking ass at ages 15 years more then my own. If those guys can be at the very top, in their 40s, then I am still a long way off, and have much to achieve.

    Then I went on my tour, and it really broadened my mindset. I am almost looking forward to relinquishing my stubbornness that compels me to ride 300+ miles in a day, and instead simply ride and enjoy entirely new places I have yet to see, climb different mountains, eat wonderful foods, sleep wherever I end up, and meet strangers on a whim. From my days as a child, going deeper into a new, unexplored place was always my drive.

    Thankfully, touring is someone we can pretty much do until we die, and I feel I will always have a form of cycling that I can never conquer, and that can never conquer me. Once I am no longer able to ride, play drums, care for snakes, travel the world, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I honestly hope I never get the chance to figure that part out.

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