Category Archives: musings

Keep on, keeping on

It’s a quote from an early noughties film, Joe Dirt which often pops up in my head if I’m in a bit of a grind. I might be stuck with a mathematical problem in work, cycling up a steep climb in a hefty headwind or pushing tens of metres of speedfit plumbing pipe through the floorboards of my recent house project.

In actual fact I think the Joe Dirt character is a fantastic role model, the theme of the film being Joe overcoming any obstacle that fell (or landed!) in his path in his own, albeit sometimes naïve, accepting way, taking life as it comes. As filmland predicts it’s a rosy outcome for Joe, but I like to take heart from this and remember that in life the majority of the time things really do work out for the best, even if it seems downright wrong at the time.

So yes, when I’m feeling like I’m stuck in a bit of a rut or feeling a bit blue, its Joe’s catchphrase that’s on my mind because sometimes you just have to get your head down, and get on with it.

 

What goes up, must come down (the wheels on the bus go round and round)

A month. It’s flown by if truth be told, but when you think about the numbers; 4 weeks, 28 days, 672 hours – reality bites.

It’s a period long enough to put a hefty dink in the previous 6 months of riding & fitness training if you’re hit by illness, injury or any other circumstances to prevent you swinging your leg over the loyal steed. I’ve just been through some of those very circumstances, with chest infection, sickness bug, man flu & stress, September has been a month of frustration. Made moreso by seeing my friends participating & performing well in events that I had been looking forward to with big ideas. It was not to be.

My first ride out with my training buddy Fruity this evening brought a renewed vigour, a little inspiration (that regaining my level of fitness from a month ago was within reach) and a simple reminder that what goes around, comes around. I have had a great summer competing in endurance & singlespeed competitions, achieving more than I ever had done in previous years but the reality that there will always be somebody out there quicker, stronger & fitter than you is always prominent in my mind. Fact.

A confession: I think I suffered more mentally in the last month than in physical well-being, throwing dark clouds over the self-confidence I have been working on – yup, it’s all about the mojo. Establishing your self image, knowing who you are and then looking at your (recent) achievements & reviving ambition from deep down, thrusting it into the spotlight. You are what you achieve? It’s not as outlandish nor boastful as it sounds – consider what you could achieve in your lifetime, and then consider how it would make you feel. In my minor existence one of my ambitions is to achieve a win in a mountain bike endurance event in the coming months and despite the last month of toil, armed with the reality of the predicament (someone will always better you in time)  I found that I was able to rationalise my situation and pull myself up out of the preverbial gutter and grab back hold of the ladder rung. Resume climbing!

So what would I like for you to take from this brief rambling about what essentially has been a rather dull few weeks of my life? Never give up. Find your ambition, and grab it with both hands. For every blow, if you can stand again you will find that you will be that much stronger.

Go on, get out there and do it. : )

How rude!

“Miserable git…” – I’ve found myself muttering this quite a lot recently. My word, it annoys the hell out of me when I pass another cyclist and they don’t even lift their head to catch your eye!

Yes, I am a fiery character at best. Yes I have my Monday mornings. But jeez, we’re all human and inhabiting the same space. Let’s lighten up a bit!

I thought there was an adverse effect on “social passing” in the early period of the recent recession. It felt like dog-eat-dog out there on the streets, with a sour taste in the air. Yet even now I find myself muttering under my breath when a rider sails silently past or a dog walker simply turns their nose the other way, with a tight grasp on their hound as if it would rip my calves off. It can make or break a morning training ride (or run for that matter!).

Have you ever had a random pleasantry with a stranger?* It makes you smile doesn’t it… admit it.

Ok, ok – so practice what you preach, sort your own house out and all that equally righteous school of thought. So not one to allow myself to purposefully be a hypocrite, I am doing just that. I realised that for every mutter under the breath, I should make the effort regardless of the outcome. No matter who may pass me; trail rider, roadie, walker or even stoners out relishing the solitude of the woods, I make an audible effort to (at the very least!) leave a greeting on the breeze as I pass.  They probably think I’m an idiot, or maybe some self-righteous twat who loves everything in the world and all its peoples. Take it as they may, I think I’d rather leave a possible pleasant first impression with anyone, even a smile at the random holler, than plod by ignorant of any passers-by. Hell, I did enough shoe-gazing as a teenager, life’s too short and you never know when and how you might meet that person again – behind a bar, serving you in a shop, maybe even behind the desk that matters at an interview….

 * take that as you may. : )