Friday, September 23, 2011

Riding/Writing in the rain

Tomorrow I am riding 100 miles on my bicycle for the first time.  In the rain (unless the weather suddenly takes a turn).  I have been training for this seriously since the spring, biking 100 miles plus each week and consistently increasing my longest rides.  I only began riding in July of 2010 and completed my first 50 mile ride at this time last year, so this is all rather new to me.   I'm a little scared.  And disappointed in the weather -- I so wanted this thing I have worked for so long and hard for to be perfect.  Plus, in the last two weeks things have gotten so much busier for me in the other two main areas of my life -- teaching and writing -- that suddenly this thing I've been looking forward to for so long feels a little like a burden, an obligation, something that I am doing because I said I would and because I want to accomplish it rather than something I really want to do. This makes me a little sad (and I am working very hard on an attitude adjustment).

But I am still going to do it. I am going to feel great when it is done. Hopefully it will still be lots of fun even though I know I will be in a fair amount of pain and discomfort by the end.  

There is a parallel to writing here, I promise. Sometimes, I just don't feel like writing. Sometimes it feels like slogging through the rain.  Sometimes I feel downright uncomfortable because I'm not in the moment, not in the flow, the words don't come easily. But the only way to work through it is to do it, to push myself, to put my fingers on the keys, put my feet on the pedals and ride. I had several days like that this week for writing too.  I want so badly for this rewrite to be great that sometimes I over-think it. Just like I have been so worried about being ready for this cycling century that I haven't just been riding for the fun of it, I've been riding because I know I have to in order to achieve the goals I want. This is necessary, one can't always do things just for the fun of it when you want to achieve certain goals.  If I only rode when the weather was good, I wouldn't get in shape enough to be able to do 100 miles.  If I only wrote when things were feeling good, flowing easily, who knows if I would ever actually finish a play.  But I must also try to remember in those difficult moments, even as I am uncomfortable, even as it feels like pushing, like torture, that I am doing it for the fun of it, that I am getting something out of it, and remind myself that I must ride (or write) through the rain sometimes in order to be able to ride in the sun. 

That said, I still hope the weather miraculously clears up tomorrow.
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