I was at the gym the other day, and must've said something about it being hard. "It's not hard, Brendan," started my trainer, "This is fun! You do this for recreation!"
It was a nice reminder. It's easy to get caught up in the macho bullshit of cycling - suffering will lead us to glory, HTFU, shut up legs, blah blah blah - and forget that we're doing this because we like it. Even when we're trying to get up that hill faster than our friends, the lactic burning in our legs and our lungs fit to burst, we're doing it because we like it. Even when we're racing in the rain, dirt and shit and road grime spraying up into our faces, the cold freezing our toes and fingers and other, more important appendages, we're doing it because we like it. And even when our commitment to cycling stops us from attending to our relationships, our jobs, our household chores, we're doing it because we like it. It's fun. If it stops being fun, we should stop doing it.
I've been sick for a while now, which has meant that I've had to stop doing it. I've found it difficult to stay off the bike, and have made numerous aborted attempts to get back into training, but in the end I hid the bike in the end room and didn't open the door. I went and got some blood tests done and waited for the diagnosis. Eventually it came, and I'm feeling a lot better now, so I'm consequently tempted to go out and tell myself those macho lies again today. But the thing about those lies is that they're not just untrue, but that for punters like us they're dangerous. If I went out today and did the two hours at 85% that was on my original program, I'd end up back where I was two weeks ago, lying in bed, unable to get up. So I'll do the less intense session that's on my revised program, and I'll do it inside, in front of the TV and out of the rain.
Sometimes you just have to ignore the bullshit, and wait until all your ducks are in a row.