Monday, May 5, 2008

The Guilty Pleasure



I indulge myself in rich refusals.
—Donald Justice

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!"

14 comments:

josh said...

naps are an important part of training...not a holiday from the daily routine...otherwise I wholeheartedly agree

Evershed said...

now i feel like a fatty

Fxdwhl said...

my wife likes to catch me in these moments and relish in the fact that i'm acting 'human'.

Jason said...

Squares of high quality chocolate go a long way toward keeping the pints of ice cream locked away
in the freezer. Very small caloric intake, high
satisfaction. Plus, they are high in anti-oxidants and contain some lovely caffeine.
Trader Joe's sells a nice dark chocolate bar with
good size squares.

Boz said...

After years off the bike and toooo many donuts, mocha lattes ect., I regained my love of the sport under the deress of illness. What really kills me though, is the lack of being able to hang with the old gang(or the new gang), so I've lost touch with the crew I used to ride with. I'd give back all of the guilty pleasures of the past to have the most important part of cycling to me, the comradery of cycling. I never thought I'd miss it that much.

brettok said...

I live for the bike, but fuck, you don't have to live a monastic life to 'enjoy' it. Eat what you want, ride your bike and just have FUN... that's why we started riding, isn't it? I don't see the point in following a strict training/diet regimine just to race Cat 2, 3 or 4.

bikesgonewild said...

...what's nice about dark chocolate, in particular, is that it's a self regulating "guilty pleasure"...it does have good properties, it's a wonderful indulgence & you really don't wanna eat it every day...

...or do i just have bueno self-control...

btw, jason...lotta health food stores carry a version (ferget the brand & i'm all out) of dark chocolate w/ dried chilies...wow, what a kick !!!...

Mikey Mike said...

That doesn't look like Callebaut to me.

Padraig said...

Josh: I wish naps weren't a luxury for me. I know what I'd like them to be (indispensable) but reality is otherwise in my life.

Evershed: Don't feel bad; you're one of us.

Fxdwhl: Your wife and my SO could have a lot of laughs together.

Jason: I confess, pictured is the Trader Joe's Belgian (mais oui) Pound Plus bar of milk chocolate.

Boz: The comradery of the peloton is an indispensable part of my life. It helps me check my eating.

BGW: I love trying funky chocolates; I think I've had the one of which you write. I recently had one with lavender.

streighty said...

Dagoba organic dark chocolate bars are hard to beat--I agree with the jason, a little dark chocolate goes a long way in keeping away from the ice cream, but it does draw me closer to port--

Gabriel Vargas said...

Pure honey = real endurance.

josh said...

i here ya padraig (at least I understand where yer coming from). I seem to recall that the CONI manual says something along the lines of 9 hours of sleep....8hrs night & 1hr nap...that was more or less my point. Life gets in the way though.

Anonymous said...

You know it, pour moi c'est un bloc de Valhrona. By the way, today is the international no diet day. I have to confess, as a low body fat kinda mountain goat guy, I eat like a fat pig. I work as a sales rep in a very stressfull environment, always in restos. Most if not all of my colleagues are extra wide fatties who drinbk diet coke 24-7... I think they have hatred towards me when we have dinner together. On the other hand, I don't see these folks with 4 kids and wake up at 6:00 am every day for a jog and close the day with a grunt of a ride. One thing I do watch out for, I eat zero process food, I am overzealous about it. Simple, if it was made by a robot, it`s not for me.

Le Blaireau said...

Bring on the little bits of square Belgian delights