What’s Your Excuse?

I hate this feeling. Sitting at the office, nearly in tears and I can’t stop thinking about the source of it. The last time this happened was June, when Mooch’s diagnosis had come in, and I knew I was going to have to help ease my best friend out of the world.

This morning, before work, I discovered Fat Cyclist, the blog of a guy named Elden, who used that blog as a way to shame himself into riding more and losing weight.

Lately, I’ve had this wavering crisis of faith when I ride. I know, consciously, that I’m out-of-shape. I know, consciously, that I’ve been overly sedentary and indulging in a shitty diet for the last 18 months. But when I ride, the snap is gone from my legs, the fluidity isn’t there. Soreness is measured in days, rather than hours. I suffer horribly on rides that would have been a cake-walk two years ago. I pull up the numbers from the Garmin/Powertap, and I have moments where I contemplate selling off the bikes and turning the den into something more useful than storage.

But that’s offset — I’ve got a history with this sport. I want to make a life around it. And I still have moments — high-speed descents, camaraderie, or even the ability to crush a small climb — that make me smile. But there’s that nagging doubt that seems to find generate reasons not to ride.

Well from now on? Fuck that.

I’ve been reading Elden’s blog, and his wife is dying of metastatic breast cancer. No, not undergoing chemo, no not having mastectomy. She’s dying. Like hospice care, non-lucid, morphine pump, leaving behind a husband and four kids, dying.

And yet the man still finds time to ride. The thought alone of having to watch my future wife die absolutely destroys me, and I can’t help but think that the only thing I would want to do is sit around the house and try to hold onto as much of her as was left. Fortunately, I don’t have to endure such things — and hopefully never will.

Elden’s continued riding humbles and shames me at the same time. My mealy-mouthed bullshit excuses are just that: bullshit. Compared to Elden, I have no reason not to ride. It could be raining asteroids and I still wouldn’t have a fucking excuse.

And so I’m inspired to ride again, ride more, stop making excuses. Thanks, Elden. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I’ll keep hoping for a miracle for all of you.

1 thought on “What’s Your Excuse?”

  1. Different people have different ways of coping. Eldon copes by riding. I cope through pain. (No, I’m not emo, I’m sick.) If you went out and rode every time you thought about how much you miss Kate, you’d be in the Tour de France next year.

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