Sometimes You Have to Laugh
Last night I got on the trainer. 70 minutes of steady effort.
Today I ran before work. 60 minutes of unimpressive effort. I couldn’t get my heartrate to stay up and I knew, without looking, that I was going far slower than normal. Some days are like that. I try not to worry because there are other days where my legs are inexplicably fresh. That is the nature of endurance training.
At any rate, by the time I was changed and ready to ride to work the sun was bright, the wind was blowing steadily at about 15 mph and it was cold. It was hurt my fingertips and curse my toes cold.
That’s how it goes, I tried to tell myself. Don’t worry, last night’s trainer ride took it out of your legs. You’ll bounce back this weekend or on Tuesday after a day of rest. Yet, as I tucked down and tried to burrow through the wind coming off of the river in front of the airport, I could feel myself slowing, churning and practically coming to a stop. Self pity started rising and thankfully, about a quarter mile later I came across a flock of geese. They were unimpressed with my form. It is humbling, being stared down by scores of pairs of little black eyes that belong to a bird willing to stand around in frigid puddles nipping grass or floating gracefully on the Potomac. I was being judged and, frankly, I’m sure I was not up to their standards of hardiness.
So I stopped. I had wanted to stop but now I didn’t have a choice. They were lined from the trees on the left, across the grass and the bike path, all the way across the grass on the right into the river. Probably 200 large birds were waiting to see what I’d do and, in their silence, expressing some sort of curiosity for my strange non-flying transportation machine.
So I laughed. I laughed out loud so hard that I fogged my glasses. It is too easy to get caught up in what goes wrong or what could have been better. It is better to enjoy the moment — no matter how ridiculous. And eventually, the birds let me pass and I was on my way. I was on my very, very cold and windy way with dead-legs.