I find that often cycling is a good metaphor for life.
There are seasons. There are times to rest and rebuild and times to push harder and take it to the next level.
Lately, my life feels like the season that never ends. I feel like I've been pushing zone 4 for about 3 years and wondering how much longer I can sustain the effort before I crack.
Previously, my life had a season of rest and rebuilding. I had come through some really rugged times in 2001-2002 with big changes and a lot of adversity - much like coming off a big crash with a long recovery. Things finally settled into a rhythm. It was comfortable and restful. I was rebuilding for this next season. There was quiet, and long bike rides and a 40 hour work week. There was lots of time for joy, peace, love, meditation, prayer, contemplation and lots of other things that keep me recovered and strong.
Then, in 2005 I went into a hard training and racing block in my life. I got married, went through a home remodel and started a masters program all at the same time. Then, before finishing the masters program, I decided to add on actual racing (sanity of that decision is questionable). I can finally see a potential end to this season with the culmination of my masters degree in December. Or can I?
I'm contemplating some changes coming up. The question is, am I going to extend the hard effort - maybe ramp it up to an even higher intensity and head to the next category, or am I going to be purposeful about moving myself into a more restful season? Decisions, decisions.