Day 1: Cycling
This is backdated to yesterday – I only thought of doing this blog thing last night when I watched a film about Julie Powell. At least this way I’ve got something to show for my work.
Today the Food Harpie took me cycling. I had to use Grumble Meister’s bike and this was to almost literally bite me in the arse later on, as Grumble Meister has a particularly skinny one. His blade of a seat practically cut me in two. Or twain. Twain is a good word. Also, it was a mountain bike, which to me is the worst kind of bike. I much prefer a road- or a hybrid.
We set off from oor wee house and our plan was to cycle to the nearby pretty village of plampinet down a long stretch of easy road. I had been told by a previous fitness instructor that it is a bad idea to do too much too quickly as it is easy to get despondent, so this seemed a good easy start to my fitness regime.
We set off and immediately I realised how much I missed cycling – the wonderful rush of air as you whizz down the road, the feeling of freedom, a feeling which continued for around 8 miles downhill, never moving from the highest gears and barely moving my legs but for short hills. I started to feel that, really, the way back was going to suck hairy balls.
Encouraged by the freedom and the beautiful weather we (mainly FH) decided to go further than originally intended and eventually stopped by Les Bois d’Alberts, a park near the end of the valley with a beautifully clear duck lake. I had only really known this lake during the winter when it was frozen over and there was a large ski-du-fond track nearby. FH decided to eschew her Harpie status for 15 minutes, and we had an ice-cream each.
As predicted, I struggled badly on the way back up. I managed about 6 miles, pushing on in low gear, trying not to get out of breath but failing. It’s at this point I realised: my fitness is at absolute rock bottom. Not long ago I would have been able to do this with relative ease but that is firmly in the past. As my face grew redder and even the easy bits seemed difficult and frustrating, my mood plummeted rapidly. I was starting to get despondent and a heavy depression came over me, weighing every foot down.
When we reached plampinet, after a couple of stops, I decided enough was enough, and FH went on to fetch the car. 12 miles was certainly enough for a first go and we had been too ambitious for my first day at work. I ordered une café et un coka light at a local cafe and sat outside, trying to calm myself down and feel a bit more human, diverting myself with a poem I had been working on.
As I write this I feel a bit of a failure. It’s rare that I give up on something and I accept that some people may read this and think me a loser. I’m trying not to let that cloud my judgement though. What I didn’t want to do was to get so despondent that I would never do this again. I’ve got this logged in the back of my mind and when I can get hold of a decent bike I shall be attempting the run again and working on it until I can do it.
As a composer, you have to just chip away at things and accept that not everything that comes out of your imagination is going to be awe inspiring or good. You have to accept quite a large chunk of failure before you receive success, and you have to just chip away at it until it’s there. I felt ashamed when FH picked me up finally, but not defeated.