I keep thinking that I hate cycling, but I've just come to realize recently that I hate training. I hate feeling like I have to do my weight training Or Else. I hate the constant worry over doing enough miles and what my body can or cannot take and getting it up to speed and all that jazz. I hate hate HATE spin class, oh my god does that feel good to say out loud. (Which is kind of funny, actually, because I actually do much better at spin class than I do at actual on-bike cycling. But it's not the first time that I've been pretty good at an activity I hate, so.) I just hate the constant extreme effort, the every-day toil and effort. It's gotten old. Life is hard enough without adding this kind of thing to it, you know?
To be fair, I think it's only because I am so very new that this level of training is necessary. I've had a long way to go to get to where I need to be, physically, so that's why it's been rather intense. Probably if I did this again in the near future, I wouldn't have to work quite so hard all the time.
But that begs the question: do I ever want to do this again? It's true I have a level of disenchantment lately that would suggest you couldn't pay me enough to sign up for this sort of thing ever again. But it's also true that though I hate spin classes, I really like the teammates I see there. And though I hate waking before dawn on a Saturday and driving out to the suburbs to sit my sore ass on a bike for hours, I do like a good long ride and the quiet time on country roads, and the feeling of exhausted accomplishment when I do the whole course.
That's what it's like in my head lately: I vacillate between composing imaginary Craigslist ads to sell all my cycling-related stuff, and thinking that I shouldn't be so hasty because what if next summer I want to go out and ride with the team? At the same time, it feels like my body is making some decisions for me, like that I can't keep riding this specific bike. My hands hurt constantly now, in that awful aching arthritis way - and I think it's because of having my weight on my hands. I think if I'm to avoid chronic pain, I have to get a fully upright bike. Poor Pepe and I are just not cut out for a long-term relationship.
So I don't know what's after Tahoe. Especially since right now, I am at a point where I honestly don't care about Tahoe. I feel like I've already put in enough work to meet my own definition of Awesome, so the 100 miles in Tahoe just feels like a detail. It's a goal someone else set, and I'm only doing it because I signed onto it and said I would. It's good that this is for charity, because that's the only thing that's kept me going lately. I think most people who sign up for this kind of thing would do it anyway, you know? They'd always cycle for sport, and this gives them a framework and a goal for a hobby they love. But that's how I am really different in this: there's no way I would ever be doing this for the hell of it. I mostly hate it, and I'm only doing it because of a promise I made in my heart to the people who will benefit from the dollars I raise. If I walk away from this, I walk away from them. And I won't do that.
And also - my coaches are so freaking awesome and I feel like they're even more invested in me than I am. They really do care about me, and they are SO looking forward to me crossing the finish line in Tahoe. And I'm so grateful to them and love them so much that there's no way I could back out now. This is where that whole team mentality comes in - I don't want to disappoint my team, because they've been so patient and encouraging and just flat-out good people to me. And as much as they look forward to watching me cross the finish line, I'm just as much looking forward to crossing it while they cheer me on. After all, the best part of life is found in really Great Moments, and that's one that I wouldn't want any of us to miss.
But there it is, for the record : I mostly hate all of this, but I'm doing it anyway. At least there is ice cream at the end of it!