What’s On Your Mind?

by klassman

Today, Dana asked what I think about when I’m out training for hours on end.  “That’s a lot of quiet headspace, do you fill it up with scary thoughts or good dreams,” she asked.  I hadn’t considered it much.  Although, it is a natural question and even more appropriate considering how loud and chaotic it is in our household and how much I enjoy contemplation.

So, I made a list because, as it turns out, I think about a lot of things out on the road.  There are more thoughts on my bike than when running.  Running tends to revert pretty quickly to things like how much farther to that big tree or my heart rate is too high.  Biking is a closer cousin to swimming.

  • I really try hard and enjoy when I get in a place to watch the trees sway, and the shadows dapple, and to notice individual birds.  It is like when I was a kid and used to walk the woods outside of town with my father.
  • I think a lot about Dana and giving.  I try to give to her and think often that I take or get more than I should.  This is an easy conclusion when she is cleaning up the bathroom and I’m on hour four of a six hour workout.
  • I daydream about the kids a lot.  I imagine conversations we’ll have.  Money, sex, drugs, what college to go to, whether to skip college and practice artwork living on the Left Bank in Paris for a year, how to drive a stick shift, the importance of grammar.  Lots of conversations get hashed out.
  • I think about training: my heartrate, how long since I last ate, at the current rate how long before I run out of fluids and where I can stop to refill my bottles.
  • I imagine the race in Lake Placid.  I am really looking forward to the swim even though I think the start will be ridiculous and a madhouse no matter how fast I go.  I imagine finishing, what it will be like when I want to quit and what I’ll tell myself.
  • Sometimes, I think – ‘it has been a few minutes since I thought anything.’  This is a very rare thing and always takes me by surprise.  Just empty and floatie.
  • I think about good books that I have read.
  • I almost never think about work.

Looking back at this list a lot of the thinking is kind of puffy and indeterminate but related to Dana, our children and dreams.