Thursday, March 29, 2007

Clean slate

The only exercising I did today was a 45-minute walk along the Mendenhall Lake shoreline. It was a rest day, but it seemed important to get out - if only just to look at a waterfall and snap a picture of a glacier. Thing is, there are a lot of places in Juneau to go "see." Lately, especially so on these sleet-streaked, featureless days, I seem to gravitate out here. Maybe it's the lack of contrast. Staring out across a rotting sheet of ice and wondering where it meets the sky. I spend more time looking in than out.

I've been working on changing my outlook about things. Before now, my philosophy about endurance cycling - and life in general, really - has been that if you want it, really want it, so bad that you've convinced yourself you need it, it's possible. Out of shape? No food? No water? If you had to bike that 100 miles to survive, you'd find a way to do it. Of course, I never lived by anything that extreme. But I like to operate under the delusion that I control my own destiny.

I'm learning, though, that wanting things ... even needing things ... isn't enough. Life is a little control and a lot of chaos, so in the end, you're not really the one behind the wheel. If you don't have any water, don't have any food, that's a correctable problem. But if that problem persists, you'll die, eventually. No matter how much you tell yourself you'd really like to keep going.

But I staggered upstream through a tough week on the job and it worked out for me; now it's over. Hooray. I have this plan to complete several hours of low-impact, high-energy activity tomorrow ... swimming, elliptical machine and the like. Maybe four hours. My idea was to test how my endurance is holding up. I'm actually looking forward to it, even if it is hamster wheel stuff. But then I hear that it's going to be a beautiful day ... partly sunny ... clean pavement ... may even hit 40. And a larger part of me is wondering how I can make that whole bike thing work. I'd like to ride out to the glacier. Snap a picture of some blue sky with a red roadie in the foreground. It sounds so idyllic. I know I'm going to resist temptation, though. I'm not even worried.

Maybe I just don't want it badly enough. But I guess that's not the point.


  1. Nice Photo Jill.

    I am reading the Rowing to Latitude now, It's surprisingly introspective.

    I have spent a lot of my life "looking in," and it's not that bad of a place to be.

  2. Sometimes I really enjoy the gym and seeing what I can do on the various machines and in the pool. I guess you're coming to realize the same. Sure, the bike will always be better. But sometimes the bike just isn't an option. I was smart last night and skipped a ride, as my cortisone shot hadn't really kicked in yet, and I see the PT for the first time today. Stay smart and you'll be back on the bike before you know it!

  3. good luck with your training --

  4. I haven't commented in a while but I still read and love your writing. All of its good; this one is exceptional.

    The photos are nice, too :-)

  5. these are some very beautiful pictures, very refreshin. delisa


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