Learn to say no.
Sometimes we just can’t ride. Not to commute, not to go to the shop, not to do a little training. We might need some time off the bike, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds. How do you know you’re just putting things off or whether it’s a legitimate NO situation? Though it isn’t what we want to hear the fact remains that there is no simple answer, no simple rule. It requires that bit of intuition that we can’t learn and that no system can teach, despite what some gurus might suggest. There is one answer, of course, but it’s the one we don’t want to hear: We need to know ourselves. And since we’re all different this can become quite a psycho-drama type of thing. For me it’s become rather simple over the last year:
- My legs feel heavy, especially when I climb stairs. Not the type of heavy like when you finish a work-out, but rather the heavy that sits there for a couple of days. I call it heavy-heavy. I need a couple days’ rest and it goes away.
- Waking up in the morning is a real chore. (I know it always is, right?) But I think you know what I mean. You’re just dragging yourself out of bed. You’re late as it is; you don’t even have time to make a cup of coffee – oh, you never do? Well, you see, we’re all different. When I don’t have my cup of coffee – make that two – and some toast I’m hurting.
- I drank two extra beers the night before because my friends couldn’t help changing the world. Ok. I’m dehydrated the next day and I’m hurting.
- And my favourite, like today. I just don’t feel like it and don’t know exactly why. It involves a certain bad feeling or sensation like something wrong might happen. This is very rare. I don’t know what it is and I don’t really care, but when I feel it I don’t ride it.
So over the past year I’ve grown up a bit in my cycling. I know when to say no and, incredibly, my cycling has improved considerably. If I don’t ride or do my little training ride – which I try to do at least 3 times a week independent of other riding – it’s OK. Nothing happens. Things just get fresher and better when we get back on the bike again.
What makes you say NO?