Tuesday, May 22, 2012

From lapse to laps

I found out something about myself today. I found out that unless I have clear defined goals I am apt to fail. Now, fail is a very strong word. Maybe I should say I'm apt to score a B- as opposed to a A+, but that would be my rational self talking, and sadly my rational self can't get a word in edge ways compared to my emotional self- screaming "FAILURE".

I could easily sit here and type the world's longest blog post on the saddest and most pathetic excuses for not trying harder, but rather than that I'm going to tell you what I did today, after I discovered my necessity of clear defined goals.

I went for a bike ride. Which obviously is nothing extraordinary in and of itself, but this particular bike ride cemented in my brain that my mind prefers to work in a goal oriented fashion.

Sugar Snap Peas
So, let me back up, at the beginning of this month I said I would have three goals for May. I would cycle/walk 100 miles, I would do 100% of our grocery shopping by bike and I would track my food intake. Then my Mum had an unexpected surgery and I had house guests, and one thing led to another and immediately I forgot about calorie counting, and then we were out in the car with a "mum" trip and the question is posed "why would we drive by a grocery store and not buy groceries if we're already here?"- which obviously is a valid point, but it all left me feeling like I'd failed the month.

That sense of failure really beat me up, I mean- I have truly beaten myself over the head with it every single day this month.

So, now come forward to today. I finally sit down and do the math. I've been so busy beating myself up rather than taking a bloody ride, that I've only ridden 36.5 or so measly miles in 22 days. And so I pondered that, and of course I beat myself up a little more, and then did some more math, which led me to realize I will have to ride approximately 6 miles a day for the rest of the month to achieve my goal of 100 miles this month. Six miles seemed really daunting, so I decided to map out a loop using Endomondo.

The veggies

I tried various loops on the route drawing program of Endomondo- I drew one large one, two smaller ones and then one much smaller one, that if I rode 4 times would amount to just under 6 miles. I compared the loops and the smallest one felt far more achievable than the larger ones. It also made me feel more in control- if it started pouring I was closer to home. This was when the monumental realization happened, the idea of 4 small laps broke the ride down into a series of seemingly attainable steps, whereas the long route felt terrible daunting to me in my current mindset. I realized I personally need to feel a sense of accomplishment daily, and that my daily riding focus in April is what made that month so much easier for me, and made this month so much harder.  It felt like the small laps, each day, just added to my personal sense of accomplishment and gave me a sense of confidence that I desperately need right now.  That sense of accomplishment is the only thing that silences the self doubt. Having large broad goals made the month daunting to me, especially since the first week of the month got thrown for a loop. Cycling everyday gives me a daily reminder of why I'm doing this, where I'm going and how far I've come.

So I set off for my ride today, the first since last Friday, and of course I felt wonderful once I'd made the effort to ride, and I felt even better after I'd taken on the four laps and was peddling home. I also managed to up my average speed to around 10 miles an hour, which was an unexpected bonus, but that is nothing compared to finally feeling confident about my abilities for the first time this month.

lovely little lettuce and spinach greens!

P.S. I forgot to take my camera today, so decided to snap some pictures of my garden that's coming along very nicely. Couldn't post without a picture of my lovely boy and bike, so the one above is from May 2nd.


  1. I am much the same as you my friend...I beat myself up all month long last month when ailments made me bail on the April 30 days thing...and I do that LOTS. Like you,if I don't have a structured goal,I won't do it...seriously,if I miss a planned/sceduled ride,it might be weeks before I ride again.

    Your situation is,different however my good friend. You're not just doing this because of a love of riding or for yourself,you're doing it for a better life for your husband and son,a healthier you. You have Jack to look at each morning (most likely pointing at the Mundo,helmet in hand),you have Kyle,a beloved companion and husband who supports and encourages you (that's something my beloved Wife has never had for me in my passion for cycling),as well as us here in e-friend-land.

    This is most likely just a coming down from an every-day riding habit euphoria,a lower level of endorphins if you will,and is natural (at least here,it is) after having ridden so much more often than previously. It will pass. You are still doing an amazing job at an amazing thing for your family and for you,and you are still admired and inspiring,my friend. You can do this,pedal on :)

    The DC

    1. Hey TDC-

      Trying to catch up on all my comments, sorry its taken me so log to reply. Now I'm cycling everyday, blogging most days- exhausting!

      You know I feel so much better since riding daily again- not even comparable. My mind feels better, my body works better...have no idea why I missed a day! lol

      Hope you are well, Lindsay


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