Sunday, June 30, 2013

Accepting Help

The hardest thing you will ever do in my mind is accept a helping hand.  Why?  It is to accept that you are not strong enough on your own to accomplish what you intend to accomplish.  In reality, none of us are strong enough on our own.  Individually we can do amazing things, but together what we can accomplish is truly unbelievable!

In my life I learned right or wrong you have to try and do things on your own.  The older I get I realize that we are never truly in it by ourselves.  Wether it is a work task, or an athletic endeavor there is always someone there to lend a helping hand.

I’ve struggled lately with some job changes and I’ve felt incapable of what is being asked of me.  It is my shallow perception that has been the road block, not my abilities.  I have some very strong teammates that are willing to coach, and mentor, and I have been reticent to accept their willingness to help.  I’m a nervous S.O.B., and that goes without saying.  I fear success as much as I do failure! Why?  Because when you succeed the bar is raised and you may not be able to reach it again.  Therefore the anxiety takes over and you limit your potential.  At the same point I have abilities to offer and limit them because I am too introverted to share my own perspectives due to the fear that they are of no value.  This is the wrong attitude, and I will work on it. “Quad A” you know who you are and I thank you for your willingness to share and help me improve.  I will try and be more open to the opportunities you offer.

Today, as I was training for my Century ride in September, I visited my dark place.  If you have read some of my previous posts, you know it is my own mind.  There is a time when I am on my bike that I am free and happy.  There are other times when I go to the place that my demons reside and it is a land filled with destructive thoughts.  Thinking is never wrong, but beliefs developed during that process can be skewed.

We were doing a 56 mile ride.  I only accomplished 50 of those 56, but I am and should be proud of my perseverance.  I did not fuel my body correctly, and about 35 miles into the ride I started to have waves of nausea, followed by waves of normalcy in my bodies response to the stress of riding this far.  I dropped back from the rest of my team as they rode on ahead.  I did not want my difficulty to distract them as they went through their own difficult ordeals.  Some make it look effortless, while in reality they are in their own battles with the road, distance, and conditions.  I figured I would get there eventually, but it would not be pretty nor fast, but if I could just keep moving forward regardless of pace I would get there eventually.

Enter Scot, my coach this year.  Scot dropped back to see how I was doing.  Without judgement nor degradation, he just asked me how I was doing and what I was having trouble with.  My feet were off and on going numb. I was not feeling well.  I was struggling mentally more than physically.  

We stopped and raised my seat a quarter of an inch.  I was not getting full extension on my legs thus limiting the power from my legs being directed into the pedals.  This helped with the feet issues and the back spasms in my hip area of the right side of my body.  I was still not riding fast, but my cadence (RPM of the pedal arms) was improved. 

The waves of nausea were resolved by setting goals of either a sign post, a copse of trees, or a side road we needed to reach prior to taking a break.  I was amply hydrated, but I just had not taken enough calories onboard during the ride.  I need to take in 200 - 300 calories an hour while exerting this kind of effort, and I was probably only taking on in total 500 calories from 09:00 - 15:00 during this ride.  So I was in the vernacular of cycling “Bonking”.  I was running out of gas!  We were about 40 miles in at this point, and Scot called in the cavalry the SAG wagon.  I agreed to ride on to about 45 miles setting goals, but knowing relief was in my future.  We moved on and would rest when I needed it.  Then we got the call that one of my team mates was in rough shape.  Suffering from dizziness.  We were not too far behind where they were at.  I told Scot to ride ahead and check on someone that was worse off than I was physically.

Scot went ahead to check on the person in question.  I was okay with continuing to set small goals.  We got to the location not to far apart in time and the SAG wagon got there  about the same time.  They loaded up the bike and person and brought them back to the ride’s point of origin.  Scot looked at me and said can you keep going? I replied yes I could continue to ride forward until the SAG wagon came and picked me up.  We were about 45 miles in at this point.

From 45 miles to 50 miles, I would have these waves of nausea and  normalcy, I’d coast when I could and I would set a goal and then take a break.  We made it to mile 50 when the SAG wagon was close to returning.  I probably could have hacked out another 6 miles, but I probably would be Ill at this time had I?  You have to listen to your body and respect what it is telling you.  I got a nice ride back to the point of origin, and got to cool down and get some calories into my body.  

Scot was able to offer a helping hand, and I was smart enough to accept the generous offer.  He kept me moving, and kept me out of my own head and thoughts.  For that I am thankful.

It is hard to accept help at times, but you should never feel wrong for doing so.  Someone that is willing to take the time out of their own lives and be willing to invest it in you is a pretty amazing thing.  I even paid it forward when I got back to the rides point of origin.  It was at a Lifetime Fitness location. I had gone in and taken a cold shower to cool down and wash the road grime off my body.  I felt better after that and drank a smoothie for some much needed calories.  As I was leaving the building I was passing a handicap parking spot and a man was struggling with his cane to reach the back of his vehicle to get his walker out.  I asked if it would be okay if I got it out for him, and brought it to him on the side of his car.  He replied that yes that would be okay and that he was thankful for my assistance.  Maybe he had a better day from my involvement in his life no matter how small a task it was for me to help him.  I know I had a better day from the involvement from others in my own life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

12 Days Later Time To Fill'er Up.

So the weather has not been great for riding the scooter, but when I get the chance, I ride it. I filled it up again today for the whopping price of $3.10. Drove about 63.7 miles on that last $3.50!!!! It is great for the errands around the house. Trips to the local hardware store. Trips to the gym. I am getting more used to running around without the truck. I probably would have a half a tank in the truck had I not sagged a 70 mile TNT ride. Which was a lot of fun to do! I need to go make the gas station happy and fill that guzzler up again.

Other than life is pretty good. A bit mundane, but good. I walked about 10 miles last week trying to get a bit more active again. Find I don't have the energy to be crabby if I exercise. Funny how a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Real easy to just sit on you posterior and do nothing, but then nothing is what you get out of it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gas Money Hmmmm.....

Okay, so I got the scooter. Took my motorcycle permit test as it is a 125cc and is considered a motorcycle in MN. I've had it out a couple of times. I went to fill it up on Tuesday, and almost had sticker shock in reverse.

On Sunday night I put 3/4 of a tank of gas in the F150 to the tune of $75.00 big ones, for the lowest grade fuel. I checked the trip odometer and it read 190.1 miles. Hmm about $0.39 a mile. Not too cool.

On Tuesday, I filled the scooter up in about lets say less than 60 seconds. I put in the highest grade gas just to try and make this comparison a little more fair (ROTFLMAO!!!!) NO WAY TO MAKE THIS FAIR. As you can see $3.50 to fill it. I'll have to run it around to get the cost to the distance, but after filling it up, but for a quick comparison. I drove about 16.1 miles running errands. Then today, I drove it back and forth to the gym for another 19 miles. that is 35.1 miles and I have not used even a 1/4 of a tank. So to drive that same 35.1 miles in my F150 would have cost me (Drumroll) $13.69. So even after paying for the gas for this little gem, I am $10.19 ahead (not counting insurance and vehicle payments, of course).

Now don't get me wrong. I love my F150. It is big, comfy and a great vehicle, but just too thirsty at $4.00 a gallon. I do have to laugh at the parting note from the gas station on the receipt. "THANK YOU PLEASE COME AGAIN". Well, hopefully not for a few weeks for that amount. It should probably read "THANK YOU PLEASE COME AGAIN" and bring a kidney or another body part you can sell so you can fill your vehicle! The other receipt for the scooter fill up says "Thank you for stopping! drive carefully" and the owner of that station was probably looking out the window and thinking; Thank you for stopping! drive carefully" and don't come back with that scooter, bring your damn F150!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh Boy Gas Prices Suck!

Season Total 61 Miles by bike.

I did something I thought I would never do. I bought a scooter. I am not a guy that likes motor cycles at all. They scare the shit out of me to put it bluntly! But getting 80 - 90 miles to the gallon at $4.00 or however high this rip-off is going to go, beats the 180 - 190 miles I am getting out of my F150 at $100 a tank full. I'll put fear aside and learn a new skill and be careful. The scooter will pay for itself in about a year at these prices.

I would love to be able to ride my bike everyday, but sometimes I have to be to work in a hurry for meetings and other items of business. Just running around in my truck to the gym and other errands is killing the finances.

I may be working out of my funk finally. I am not sure that I will be doing the Door County 100 after all. I am considering doing the MS Tram in MN, 300 miles in a week. Meeting with one of my co-workers next week to discuss, new challenge that I am not 100% on my ability to complete, but hey I used to think 100 miles in a day, or marathon, or an Olympic distance Tri was impossible. I need to have a goal or I will sit in my own moroseness and do nothing.

Funny how as a person, I don't like goals, but need them. I am very odd in that way. I have been very introverted again lately, and have been reading a lot. I found a book of quotes and found some inspiration from that. I'm still dealing with not allowing myself to find my full potential. I am always afraid of failure, but it is not something I let myself allow to happen. I am better than I think I am, and afraid of what I can become. The only one that can hold me back is me. And yet I am afraid to let it all hang out there and just see what happens.

I will be helping the Tahoe cycle TEAM from TNT over May 7 & 14 by sagging them. Will be fun to just sit back and watch people accomplish great things. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nineteen Enjoyable Miles & Paying Attention.

Season Milage 40 miles.

Okay rounded out the numbers. Hate when things are not even. Went out and focused on just enjoying the ride and not pushing too hard. I'm starting over. I'm not gonna be able to rip through it like I am in mid-season form. Geez sometimes, I forget baby steps, or the K.I.S.S. principal (Keep It Simple Stupid). I gotta take it as it comes and base the effort on how I feel.

I did that today. I focused on just trying to keep the cadence at between 70 - 80 RPM. I was really pretty successful at that. I did not stare at the meter, just kept the occasional eye on it when I started to feel like I was straining a bit, and adjusted accordingly.

I felt a lot better on this ride to the gym than I did on the first one. The first 8 of that ride felt okay, but then BONK, nothing in the tank. This time, I fueled just before going and went with the flow. The back did really good on this ride. I got to about 16 before I got a really light twinge. Did some on the bike stretching and went into cool down enjoy the rest of the ride mode your almost home.

I went with my Riders Enjoyment playlist. Mainly my favorite Rascal Flatts songs. Pulling into home I am content with my performance. 1 hour 32 min won't break any records, but were starting over and need to build up some endurance. Still faster than 10 MPH so I'm good with it. Will try and pull 16 - 20 miles again tomorrow and see where we're at after that.

Kyrie Eleison

Riding season is here. I only have 21 miles in two rides. I am sooooo out of shape. Not having a reason to train over the winter makes Marc fall hard into old ways. If beer drinking were an Olympic sport, then I would be a champion, but alas all it does is make you heavy, lazy and rotund.

I want to get back to really enjoying 20 mile rides daily. I am hoping dropping the stress I feel from day to day work and life pressures will ease. That I will find some of the care free spirit that riding brought to me over the last few years. I am still on the fence on attempting 100 this fall. My back just does not seem to want to ease from where it is bugging me. This is the same spot that flared up during last years Tahoe ride. Is it because I am 40 and nothing heals the same? Or is it the fact that I eat like crap and I have not been taking care of myself?

I've lost another dear person to cancer. I just hate it! I know that she is in a better place and free from her pain. It was the wife of my deer hunting friend that passed away a few years back. They both were truly amazing and the world is an empty place without their presence. But to know that they are reunited and at peace is a comfort.

I search for a goal yet in my life. I have a problem when I have achieved what I set out to do and then achieve it to accept it as a goal when I do try and do it again. I still am active with LLS and TNT, but I need a high from life. While I have never successfully ridden the full 100, (damn walking) I don't know if my body will cooperate again. I might have to set fear aside and really change my habits.

I miss the placement of my random mind out here in the ether as well. I think that it might be somewhat cathartic for me to write them down and leave them in peace. Maybe with exercise and trying to get back into this practice, I will find some relief from the "Stinkin Thinkin". For example today as I lay reading a thought popped into my head; "Am I chasing death, or is death chasing me?" What the hell, the book has nothing to do with that? Where would that come from. Guess that is how my mind is wired, or faulty. I am here, might as well find something to do while we wait to see the answer from that question.

Well time to go spin the wheels and see how I do. I'm not in a race other than against myself. I have to remember to start small, enjoy the successes, learn from the mistakes, and take it as it comes. Kyrie Eleison!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Long Time No Post

It has been a long time since I last posted anything out here. I have not had a lot to say. Well, I may have had a lot to say, but not anything that I would classify as positive. In the immortal words of Thumper's mother in "Bambi"; "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

I was really suffering from as one of my friends says; "Stinkin Thinkin!" I am one that needs a goal, but I honestly cannot come up with one that sparks me. TNT was awesome for me in the fact that for the first three years, I had a new thing to chase after. I am so grateful for that! I am still really struggling to find a new goal.

I was going to take this year off from TNT as I did not want my poor attitude to impact it and it's awesome mission. I just heard that they are going to have a local bike ride for the fall season. Normally I participate in the Summer season so you get the dreaded spin sessions in a dark chamber as you wait for nice weather and riding outside. But the Fall season is outside from the get go.

The local ride is not really all that local, but expenses are reduced a bit. The ride is the Door County Century. I first heard about this from my friend Coach Bob. There are no mountains to climb. The altitude will be what I am used to breathing in. I have not totally resigned myself to doing this yet, but I got that weird little buzz in the back of my brain saying "go for it ya big oaf!" It has been one of the rides that comes up on my radar year after year that I have a curiosity about. It's nice to have that buzz bouncing around in my brain pan again.

Glad to be back and hopefully I will find some more stuff to post about.