Things have been rough on the riding front this year. Lung infection, injuries, high work loads, family needs, etc. I’m about 1,500 miles behind where I was last year at this time. I don’t say this for sympathy; I say this because all the reasons mentioned are valid reasons to not ride. The problem? I feel guilty for not riding.
See, at some point, without realizing it, I crossed over to a dark road. Riding went from something I wanted to do to something I had to do. It became a requirement. Worse, it became a chore.
- If I didn’t ride with the Wheelmen, I felt like I was letting down the race team; whenever I did ride with them, I felt I was just be holding them back.
- If I didn’t ride with my casual team, I felt like I was not being a good supporter of the other riders on that team.
- If I didn’t ride on my own, I felt like I was wasting opportunities to ride, stay in shape, burn calories, clear my mind.
So every time there was an opportunity to ride (or even when I couldn’t) and I didn’t, I felt like I was letting everyone down, including myself.
Now, I grew up Catholic, and if anyone knows how to do guilt, it’s the Catholics. So it was easy to blame myself for not riding. But here’s the deal, folks: you can’t ride because someone says you should ride. You can’t ride because others are riding. There’s only one valid reason to ride, and that’s because YOU want to.