Unintended Consequences

Published 2011-11-14

As I mentally drafted a typical (read: long) report for yesterday’s race, I realized that I was actually meditating on the unintended consequences of my new hobby.

There’s a fitness consequence obviously. (You should see the 55+ y.o. racers, who’ve been doing this for decades. They’re built like college kids.)

And being sore and bruised and probably scabby until about Tuesday.

Damage to the bike: oh my yes. Even if you don’t crash, mud acts like an abrasive so everything wears out much faster. I haven’t degreased my chain for a month.

My notion of “bad weather” has changed. I spent all October wishing for rain. How sick is that?

I discovered my body is capable of much more than I have ever asked of it. It’s an amazing machine untested by modern life. I went almost 40 years regarding myself as “unathletic” because I can’t throw or catch (true!) but it turns out throwing and catching are optional components of “athletics.”

Here’s a biggie: 45 minutes of pretty hard suffering every week has reset my concept of “suffering.” For example I have dispensed with rain gear on my commute. It seldom takes longer than 45 minutes to get wherever I’m going, and that’s only when I want it to. What, you can’t be wet and cold (alternatively: hot and sweaty) for 45 measly minutes?

Or when a colleague asks for a “small project” that I know will be an annoying pain in the ass ... the kind of thing I might shove to the edge of the desk and defer and delay until the last possible minute. Seriously, how long do most small projects take? Maybe 45 minutes of intense concentration? More than this?

Photo by Will Sullivan