I’ve been struggling with my cycling. I haven’t been talking about it much. However, I need to. Perhaps not just for my benefit, but for yours as well.
When I started cycling in 2014, there was a fuel for my fire: Anger. I was angry at my fate, angry at my unending pain. But this wasn’t the kind of anger that devours you, it was the kind that gives birth to change. I was able to do a lot of different things because I had drive and motivation to change it.
Something different, anything at all, was better than sitting in the bottom of the abyss in horrible agony.
Life caught up in a big goddamn hurry soon after I made that change. I dedicated myself to no longer caring about many trivial issues, committed myself to focus and the things I cared for the most would take precedence. By putting myself first, a lot of other minor things oddly got taken care of by proxy.
Things are good. I’m now closer than ever to good cycling locations, more comfortable work space, and access to the things that I need. Yet… I’m left with a sense of emptiness.
When I go out and cycle, it feels like there’s something lacking. My mind wanders and I can’t focus. It’s not been a lack of ability but rather a lack of drive; of purpose. Now when I go out and cycle, everything feels wrong. It seems like the gear never fits quite right, it does not feel like the second skin that it used to.
Simply put, the fire is burning out. The anger.
Shit. That’s not good.
It required a shift in thinking to figure out what was wrong. Not just with my gear, which is more than adequate, but also with myself. 2014 was a great change in myself and the people around me; that time is now past. That moment was the transitional change, the transformative. Now I’ve become settled into something else, and I believe I’m only just now mentally catching up to that.
As I’ve spent time refining my technique, I’ve refined what cycling means to me and my pain. I’ve realized that I can change my equipment all I want, but it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t change my mindset. Sometimes changing that mindset also requires changing what you see and perceive. I suppose for me it means that it’s time that I move into my ‘teen’ years of cycling. I learned how to walk, but I hadn’t gotten into my running stage yet. I think it’s time that I did that.
In 2014, I started cycling as a way to survive. Now, I need to cycle to thrive. It starts inside, not outside. I tended to my fire with anger, but the anger is gone. There are many ways to kindle a fire besides small sticks and other odds and ends. It means that I need to use a new, more potent fuel to keep me going. I think I’ve found it.
This type of mental roadblock is far more common than you think; the people whom you see doing things, and quite successfully I might add, struggle in this same fashion. The only difference is that they’re not talking about it. We find ways over it and around it. Whatever it takes to keep moving forward.
Thus begins the Age of Fire.