It’s frustrating, really. Knowing your mental health depends upon an activity, yet being unable to participate in that activity. Doubly so when it’s just your internal struggle that is getting in the way.
From 1999 through 2009 my cycling progressed to exactly where I wanted it to be, constant, fun, helpful, full of time, experience, variety, and friends.
I grew from a weekend-warrior old school cross-country mountain biker to a person who was on the bike almost every day, one bike or the other.
I was strong and healthy, I could ride for days on end – relentlessly as my friend Nando put it once. I was fit enough to enjoy riding in the high country of New Mexico and Colorado even if climbing steeps above 10k feet was slow and laborious.
Now, from 2009 through 2014, my activity level has eroded, I’m down to what amounts to being a weekend warrior even if my weekends are almost always three days long, and I’m nowhere near the fitness nor confidence I was only a few years ago.
And I’m not sure how to change this. Try as I might I just can’t get myself engaged in activities that help, not really.
I’m loosely connected with a downhill race team, but only got one race entered this year because I crashed out and broke my right clavicle in that race! The last race of that series is coming up this weekend and I’m feeling pressure to register, but fearful of participating.
I’m president of the local IMBA Chapter, but we don’t seem to be able to get that group doing constant activities. Maybe it’s just too young, maybe it’s the time of year and everyone is just too busy, I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s got three more years of my time to gain traction before I walk away.
I greatly miss the long, epic, trail rides that were the main-stay of my cycling from 99 to 09 … not there there’s no venues for it here in NE PA and the surrounding area, but that there’s so few people for me to do the rides with. None of my local cycling community seems interested and it is much more challenging to get with people from three or more hours away to meet and ride. I’ve done, and continue, to do these long back-country rides solo … and that’s not necessarily smart.
I don’t know where this is going, I don’t know where my cycling is going, I just know that something has to change for the better.
A big part of me is slipping away, and may not return, otherwise.