Monday, May 5, 2008
The Guilty Pleasure
I indulge myself in rich refusals.
As cyclists, we define endure. From the way we suffer during our efforts to the way we consistently go out to train day after day, year after year and even the way we deprive ourselves of dietary items that seem for all the world utterly innocuous, we could teach a thing or two to Sisyphus.
For all our discipline, all our deprivations, the dedication to a life in which we find meaning, we can—and should—occasionally have a holiday. A respite in which we reacquaint ourselves with life’s simpler pleasures has the ability to maintain our motivation but perhaps more importantly, it has the ability to keep our dedication from becoming a prison.
Whether it’s a glass of Cabernet, a chocolate bar or a nap, we find renewal in places both familiar and surprising. And what we need to keep us going changes just as our needs for speed work or endurance miles vary from day to day.
We know how the exception does prove the rule: the genetic freak who can drop us on any climb after being off the bike for the last two weeks, or the day so devoid of traffic that we know to be grateful (and mindful) on the spin home. So it is that the guilty pleasure is the exception in our lives, an event so incongruous to our daily habits as to cause friends and family to utter the universal exclamation of amazement: "Whoa!"