Level Up

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I’ve recently been upping my cycling game, training hard for this coming weekend, in a ride from London to Sheffield. It has been an interesting experience and ultimately welcomed by my body and mind. I guess some part of me has been putting it off over the past 2 weeks, but now I’m back in the cycling life of self imposed hardship. In an ideal world, I would have worked my way back up to a capable, long distance fitness. Unfortunately the world isn’t ideal. Instead its very real and will keep on shining regardless of if you have your shit together or not.

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As I’m trying to save hard to fund an upcoming trip later this year, I have been working a lot, so time set aside for training is secondary at the moment. This basically means I’ve been going for some 3+ hour bike rides after work. This has caused me to reach my perceived physical limits and then a bit further. It all got very real for me during a ride up Snake Pass, in The Peak District (Snake pass is essentially a 20 km steady uphill climb with a sharp ending). I clearly hadn’t eaten enough food that day and was 2 hours of bike riding from home. OH MAN, WELCOME BACK TO DELIRIOUS. I had taken a rather large bite and was trying hard not to concentrate on how much chewing I would have to do before I swallowed. My mind was trying to forget that my body was craving some nutrients, I was trying to ignore the sharp pains in my knees, trying to not think about the freezing cold temperatures and my visible shivering despite having layered up. My mind was playing tricks on my at times as it often felt like something was rubbing on my back wheel making me slower, however when I got off to check, it was all fine. It was all a test, as each of these current hurdles were crying out for my attention.

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Eventually when I got home, my body and brain were in contrasting moods. The body, felt like a wreck, and was in need of food and rest. The brain was buzzing and unable to stay still as it was flying high from a hit of endorphins via a great sense of personal achievement. Lets recover and test ourselves again.

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When I ride for long periods of time by myself, my thoughts tend to wonder without a filter. I become introspective. Not always with clarity, but usually with honesty which can help me be rational. 2 recent ponders have been;

  1. The subtleties between listening and hearing
  2. Road kill – is it cool or am I a freak job.
  1. I don’t consider myself a very good listener. My ego tells me that I know shit and wants me to divulge what I have to say. I often find myself guilty of having something ready to say before the other person in the conversation is even finished talking. So I am hearing what they are saying, but I don’t truly listen and respond appropriately. I recently caught myself doing it to a very close friend and then apologised for doing so. He thanked me for my apology and then said that i’m still a cunt for having done it in the first place. With this in mind, moving forward, I shall be mindful and apply this to my life in an attempt to improve my character.
  2. Been seeing A LOT of pheasants on the roads. I’m a capable chef that knows how to turn that into a more than delicious free dinner. What should I do? Let me know.

“On and on and on it goes, the world it just keeps spinning”

-Willy Mason

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