The Patience

The Patience

Waiting. It’s a nuisance. They say good things come to those who wait, but at its very core American culture calls BS. Most of us seemingly don’t believe it. Untold magazine cover lines, even some on bike mags, tell us that while we might not be able to have it all right now, there’s always something we can have sooner, not later.

The beauty of being a cyclist is that steady-state fitness is virtually impossible. Well, that’s not the beautiful part, but our body’s inability to maintain the same fitness year-round had educated us in the fine art of building. What we’re training during those long months before the form comes is our mind as much as our body. As we work to build form, we’ve been building that ability to wait, knowing that the work we do in winter is an investment that won’t mature until the days are long and the bloom of wildflowers is a distant memory.

They call it patience, but it makes me think of the people a doctor treats. The brain is prone to those associations; homophones, they call them. And by some reckoning, most of us will be one sometime each winter. After all, what’s winter without getting sick? There’s a rule somewhere, isn’t there?

But for all we’ve learned about not expecting the ability to perform a legotomy on our friends each and every ride to come overnight, the moment we get sick we are counting days until we’re back on the bike. That interval is a fraction of the time necessary to achieve good form and yet many of us will risk prolonging it with our impatience for staying in bed. It’s a cosmic kind of irony, one that must cause the cycling gods, wherever they are, to look down on us and slap their knees with laughter that makes the ground shake.

But seriously, how many naps can you take in a day?

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3 comments

  1. TomInAlbany

    My office cube-mate just showed remarkable patience yesterday. He,in fact, did come down with something. And while he said he had to read and convince himself to take a day off, he did it! I offered him a big ‘attaboy.’

  2. Toddster

    Such a timely piece. Just came back from back to back weeks of biz travel. Finally caught a bug and have barely been able to get out of bed each morning. My first thought, “Oh no! All my winter training is down the tubes!” Each afternoon is a debate of getting on the trainer or resting. I am finally making the adult decision and choosing rest. Only took me 47 years… 😉

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