Monday, February 8, 2010

Everything in Moderation

It's been some time since I've written on le blog. It's not that I've been uninspired. I've had a lot of stuff bobbing around in my head, but not enough time to sit down and commit it to the written word. And, a lot of stuff I've been thinking about is non-cycling-related.

One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is moderation and balance. I had a chat with a good friend this weekend, that while leaving me a bit uncomfortable has me thinking as well. I have many good things in my life - many things that bring me joy - many things I'm afraid to let go - many things that I have taken to extremes where they no longer bring joy. I'm in the midst of a re-evaluation, which I'm going to give a good amount of time before making any changes. Last year, I tried to make a significant change in the job life, and found it was not the right thing. So, I am back where I started in that regard with a new-found joy and happiness in my work. So, maybe it wasn't a worthless exercise after all. Anyway, I digress....

One concept we studied in school in economics is the law of diminishing returns. It seems that applies in life as well. The law goes something like take a bite of something delicious, it is so good that you must take another bite. But, each bite is somewhat less satisfying than the one before, and you can never get back to that original feeling. I feel this way about cycling. When I started, it brought me so much joy. I could not get enough of it. Falling in love with cycling was intertwined with falling in love with my husband. I was on a high. Then, somewhere along the line, I decided to apply discipline to cycling - to get "better" or "faster". Always consuming more and more, revolving more and more of life around the cycling. Then, I decided to take on racing. Honestly, I've never known another sport that at the amateur/beginner level requires so much. There is no "dabbling" in racing. There is a certain level of skill that must be attained just to do it safely. And, you have to become a real athlete to keep up with the fitness demands. Pretty soon all of life revolves around this silly sport. Your sleeping, eating, all your free hours. You force yourself to ride in the rain or on the trainer when you'd rather go for a walk in the woods or meet friends for tea. The balance goes, and shortly after, the joy with it. So, you buckle down with ever more trying to recapture the joy. Maybe if I can get to nationals, I will find the joy again. That is what I tell myself. At the same time, I don't want to lose this part of my life completely and fall into a sedentary hedonism. How do I restore the balance and bring back the joy? That's what I'm going to be thinking about over the next months. I'm hoping a bike trip in Europe with my honey will help rekindle the joy of cycling.

There are other parts of life that I'm trying to find the balance in as well. I'll save those ponderings for another time, though, as this blog is mostly about cycling ;)


Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Sarah--well put. I am suffering with the same thing right now, except for me, I realize I am actually happier than I have ever been, when I"m NOT worried about winning the next race, or foregoing wine with dinner in the hopes of being a tad faster, or skinnier, or ... I decided to 'give myself a break' from the demands of racing all the time, and go back and revisit the other things in life. I am going to fitness classes, I am cooking more, I am still riding, but not as intensely, I am going to the movies, I am spending time with one I care about's all good. And you know what? I still feel very good about myself and my accomplishments, even if they aren't on the top step of the podium.

Good luck! I know you'll find the balance you desire.

chatterbox said...

Kim - good to know. I'm glad you've found balance and happiness for your life. I'll keep you posted on where I end up. I'm giving myself this season to sort it all out!