Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at listening to my body. Piling up mile after mile, week after week, month after month can take a toll on one’s knees, back, calfs, thighs, and upper body. And let’s face it: I’m not getting any younger.
They say with age comes wisdom. I’m now smart enough to stand back, take a look and listen to my body and decide it’s time to either slow things down, or take a short 3-4 day break from riding.
My body right now is telling to me to slow down. 20 years ago, I would’ve sucked up the pain, lack of energy/enthusiasm and just trudged forward. (No pain, no gain, right? Bullshit!)
That was 20 years ago.
Today? I’m listening. I ditched the 15-mile (one way) morning commute I mapped out over the weekend. Last night, my knees weren’t talking to me, they were YELLING at me. I heard them loud and clear.
Today was a short (short!) commute in. Took it real slow. A slowness that allowed me to use the majority of my 5 senses to really reflect on just why I like to ride. You get to experience the world around you at a slower pace.
I wasn’t driving 50 mph into the office in the van with the windows closed, and the radio on. I was turning pedal after pedal with the wind in my face, the sound of traffic in my ears, the aroma of all the different plants and trees in bloom right now filling up my brain. It’s a great way to start the day and take in the scenery.
I extended the ride in just by a few blocks, because I was really enjoying the ride. The sun was coming up and the morning clouds, which looked like they were holding the promise of a downpour, were just whisking on by at a pretty good pace. It sure looked like rain, but it was a dry ride in.
So I think this week, while I’ll continue to commute into work, the miles are going to be low, but the enjoyment will be sky high.
I think that’s what my body wants to hear. A physical rest, but a mental spike on the bike this week.