The Thursday night mountain bike ride fast approaches. Fortunately, it looks like there’s some “weather” moving through Socal tonight with winds gusting up to 70 mph as a cold Santa Ana moves through. OK, “cold” is another relative term in this benign climate in which I exist, but at least it’s not 85 degrees out today right? Sure, I like wearing flip flops year round but I’m also always eager to get out in the rain and the wind whenever we are blessed with a storm. I consider each of them little baby steps in my prep for the Iditarod later this winter. Time for a few little rat nibbles tonight:
“The truth is, I like an unforgiving climate where if you make mistakes you suffer for it. That’s what turns me on. I like the difference between windsurfing off the coast of Maine in winter and on Lake Como in the summer. One is a challenge, the other is a soft option, something you do on weekends when you want to have a good time. But every year you need to flush out your system and do a bit of suffering. It does you a power of good. I think it’s because there is always a question mark about how you would perform. You have an idea of yourself and it can be quite a shock when you don’t come up to your own expectations. If you just tootle along, you can think you are a pretty slick bloke until things go wrong and you find you’re nothing like what you imagined yourself to be. But if you deliberately put yourself in difficult situations then you get a pretty good idea of how you are going. That’s why I like feeding the rat. It’s sort of a checkup on yourself. The rat is you, really. It’s the other you, and it’s being fed by the you that you think you are. And they are often very different people. But when they come close to each other, that’s smashing, that is. Then the rat’s had a good meal and you come away feeling terrific. It’s a fairly rare thing, but you have to keep feeding the brute, just for your own peace of mind and even if you did blow it at least there wouldn’t be that great unknown. But to snuff it without knowing who you are and what you are capable of – I can’t think of anything sadder than that.” – Al Alvarez
Seems like a good thing to practice in all aspects of life, don’t you think?