Sunday, 6 January 2013

Out of marzipan and into the fire

Timing. At the end of a cold, wet ride just the nubbin of a chocolate covered marzipan log remains. 

It seems everyone is making promises. Goals, dreams, fantasies. This year will be better than the last. More adventure. Less procrastination. As much as I tell myself I'm not getting caught up in this culture of New Year resolutions I am making some definite-maybes. Once you come to terms with the fact that we seem destined to proclaim greater things as soon as last year's calendar turns it's last leaf and dies, the next question is: do you call them out or keep your resolutions private?

Butch road bike? Effeminate mountain bike? I think we can all agree she's 'fugly'. And I love her.

Setting our stalls for the year ahead and putting it down on paper or pixels can be a means to motivate ourselves. On the other hand in a year hence it can serve as an epitaph for another year of disappointment, wether rendered by illness, injury, cash flow, self-doubt or any number of life's minutiae that can get in the way. Could there be a middle ground? Can I set loose targets, and if so, what would they be? Does publicising them curse or inspire you? 

To combat my own procrastination and tendency towards self-doubt I'm planning several adventures this year with other people. This locks me into the compelling mind-set of not wanting to look like a complete pussy... Therefore, I have ski tours of mountain plateaus, the coast-to-coast hike of Sweden, winter bikepacking and something involving skis and packrafts all firmly pencilled in, in erasable lead. I'm also finding the thought of a century ride and some kind of enduro 'race' alluring. I'll continue to keep an eye out for something to test myself against without biting off more than I can chew. Perhaps once the tickets are booked or entry forms posted I can go public with my plans and failure beyond that would be down to some other fallibility. I definitely need to work on my own head-games.

Old shoes, old snow, new resolutions?

This weekend I pondered these points during hours of yet another clichéd resolution, to NOT let my 'age', or rather my physical conditioning, be one of the factors limiting my plans. Ski season, for me, retreated another week into the future (the local ski bus waiting for better snow conditions at the resorts) so I made do with more bike riding and a fairly intense hike up and down Rundemannen. Both sessions were carried out in swirling, perpetual drizzle. I fueled my bike ride better this week and avoided the wall. I improved my time scaling Rundemannen but came down feeling dehydrated. I guess even if I can't guarantee the success of my bigger dreams this year I can continue to learn how to control the smaller details, whether that's deciding to publicise the challenges I set myself or even simply making sure I have enough marzipan.

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