Recovery is the most important part of training. When the healing happens it makes us stronger. Our job is to not get in the way of the wisdom our bodies have. Just let the restoration happen. Our ability to heal is as amazing as a baby being born. It is life regenerating itself. From broken to better. Resiliency is rhythmic like waves. Like a song.
It helps to have a restorative place to rest. I’m beyond lucky because my wife is an Ikebana artist. Plus we have this nice couch we brought home on the roof rack of our Rav4. I’ll tell you what, if you ever let a cyclist inside your house the first place they’ll gravitate towards is the couch. Unless they are super traditional in which case they’ll plop down on the floor.
It helps to surround yourself with a refreshing atmosphere. And be an easy walk to the kitchen. I have let go of my TV habits of old. In part because they were over stimulating. Watching sports left me tired still. Be careful with computers and electronics too. My favorite thing to do now is read, write, draw or sketch. Take a walk in someplace nice. Nap. Dream. Talk with family and friends and neighbors. Cultivate and nurture the mind, body and spirit.
Sometimes we need assistance seeing how our training is going. It can come from anyone. Listen to what people tell you, the wisdom they share. I received good advice from my mechanic yesterday. Take it easy sometimes! Today I’m going to practice the advice Allan S. gave me a couple months ago while he was finishing up his gratitude bike tour. You can ride everyday but not so hard that you make yourself too tired. This is called active recovery, or at least reasonably paced riding. It was the best kind of advice because he didn’t actually offer it as advice. He said he wasn’t having trouble recovering each day. He wasn’t riding that hard. Hmm, good idea. Allan has what you call a genius for living. It can take a thoughtful lifetime to cultivate that well.
And when a storm comes, or a chance to visit with family or to take a trip with Mai, I’m ready to put the bicycle away for a couple days. Enjoy all of life’s richness. Keep cycling and any kind of regular exercise a balanced part of your daily living and every part of life is more enjoyable.
I was apparently sent to this recent blog post by Grace, I guess. Ever since we rode together in mid-October, I have occasionally checked your blog. I have grown to respect it as a real asset to the region’s cycling community, and indeed part of the national and cross-cultural voice. You write very well (and I’m a worthy enough judge).
Anyway, what a joy to see mention of our ride together. Yes. it was good for me too!
My 17yo son and I plan to ride the Santa Fe Century together on May 17th. I plan to ride my classic curley Hetchins. Any chance we could plan to ride part of it together?
Glad to hear from you! I’m in for the Santa Fe Century to tour this home countryside with you and your son. Inspiration indeed comes from unexpected places. I think all we have to do is be ready to receive it. Be open and curious.
Thank you for the writing compliment. I have to thank the University of Nevada, Reno and especially their English department, particularly a teacher named Jimmy Guignard. Jimmy told me he kept a blog to beat the stiffness out of his writing. I thought yes, this would be a good way to practice and a pathway to more discovery. Some of my posts have failed, but I would recommend to anyone to get after it, don’t be afraid of failure, as it is the primary mechanism by which we learn. Failure helps us to appreciate life more when things work and we connect. It is hard work to try to put to use what life has given you and taught you, but utterly worth it, an upward building spiral.
Allan, your blog is filled with good writing. http://sindelarsolar.com/
I am inviting you to share something on this blog as a “guest post” or a “partner post”. Would love to hear more from you.