Monday, March 21, 2011


Oh man, today my two-week-break bliss came crashing down to earth with a thud. And there's still a good six days left. I still need to find the time to take Casey out to dinner, to hit Scooter up for a massage (before he leaves the country to take care of AIS cyclists in Italy... the jerk), to stay up late watching TV on DVD. But there it was, sitting in my inbox when I arrived at work this morning. An email from my coach, with the heading "program." So much pain in those two short syllables.

And then, this evening, I started on my new gym program, a program designed to improve my endurance for the coming road season. Twenty squats with twenty kilos on the weightlifting bar, then eighteen squats with thirty kilos, then sixteen with forty, all the way down to two squats with eighty kilograms on the bar (for the pedants: the weight increments go from ten to five at some point). Eighty kilograms. That's more than I weigh, and today I lifted it twice - after 108 'warm-up' squats. I then do a little bit of work on my arms and core. So, right now, I'm barely able to move. Tomorrow will be worse. It always is.

Some of you may be wondering why at this point. I guess that makes sense. But me, I never ask why. I guess this Bukowski poem - posted by Rapha Condor cyclist Tom Southam on his blog - nicely sums up my reasons. Even if Bukowski was a misogynistic asshole, even if his 'drink your way to the truth' schtick is 'pure adolescent narcissism' (to paraphrase Is Not magazine), he occasionally hits the nail right on the head.

Roll the Dice

by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the


otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the

way. this could mean losing girlfriends,

wives, relatives, jobs and

maybe your mind.

go all the way.

it could mean not eating for 3 or

4 days.

it could mean freezing on a

park bench.

it could mean jail,

it could mean derision,



isolation is the gift,

all the others are a test of your

endurance, of

how much you really want to

do it.

and you’ll do it

despite rejection and the

worst odds

and it will be better than

anything else

you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,

go all the way.

there is no other feeling like


you will be alone with the


and the nights will flame with


do it, do it, do it.

do it.

all the way

all the way.

you will ride life straight to

perfect laughter,

it’s the only good fight

there is.

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