Saturday, February 26, 2011

Specialized Propero

In my meeting with DF this week I read A Psychology of Being, by Maslow which was okay, I wouldn't recommend it as a fun read, and I don't see Oprah adding it to her book list anytime soon, but he brings up some valid points. We talked a lot about what  my motivating forces are, because with running they are very different from biking. After my leg injury I've been able to run for a few months but still haven't really gotten into it. Probably because I look like Quasimodo trying to run.  My family and friends talked me into signing up for a half marathon, and a full marathon. Now I have a reason to get back to running, and it's a great cross training for biking. But with biking something else is driving me, something internal, but I still haven't figured out what exactly. I'll let you know when I do. 

We also talked about the time that I'm devoting to a hobby that I don't exactly have. I mean I say I'm a biker, but how long can you go without actually riding a bike to still be considered a biker? It's like having a baseball team but without a pitcher, you can only do so much.  I keep pretending that any day I'm going to get back on the bike so I need to stay ready. Which I am. I'm doing an internship at a bike shop for class credit. And I even got a job, because well all this down time has lead me to finding multiple bikes that I want, so I need a way to support my hobby, as soon as I take it up again.

But I finally figured out why I'm not riding and now I'm able to face it and take it head on, okay well hopefully not head on, because I did just buy a new helmet and would rather not get another concussion. Yes, you read that right I finally went to the bike shop and got one. Well it was more of after my internship at the bike shop I had them help me pick one out. And while they're not paying me, they do give me the employee discount, so basically I will end up paying them for letting me work there. It really wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. There was one helmet the S-Works Prevail which is currently the BEST helmet on the market for $230 (no mom and dad I did not get that one, so you can breathe) it's the lightest at 200 grams and the most aero-dynamic, tested in the MIT water tanks, which is great and I'm sure it's super aero as long as someones face isn't in it breaking the wind. So in the end I went with the Specialized Propero, it's about 80 grams heavier, but I could just not eat breakfast and get that weight back, so I'm not too worried. I got it because: it has a visor, which is detachable, a place for my pony-tail, and there was a big sticker on the front that said "Now with Reflectivity" meaning no car will miss me now! 

So that's where I'm at now- I was planning on going out biking this weekend, but clearly God had other plans as there is too much snow for any trails to really be in good working condition. So maybe hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday before I head to Colorado for spring break. 

Part of the Maslow book is talking about the spectrum of safety to growth as a person. "An assured safety permits higher needs and impulses to emerge and grow." I interpret this as given the option I would have chosen not to get hit by a car but unfortunately life doesn't come with a yes or no option (wouldn't it be cool if it did?), I didn't have a choice. Much like parents who want their children to leave the nest, getting hit by a car kicked me out of my safe cocoon and shouted "HAVE FUN! TRY AND LAND ON YOUR FEET." According to Maslow I'm in the period of "growth" which he says that the period of growth is just as important as the end product. I told DF this, and he said maybe I should thank the guy who hit me because I get to realize all these things that would have taken me a lot longer to figure out. I said, "Let's not get carried away and the only time I might think about thanking him is when he hands me a check."
Acknowledging that I'm in this period of growth doesn't exactly make me feel better about falling through the air and hoping to land on my feet, but at least I have one good leg to land on. Ha

Sunday, February 20, 2011

October 28th and Man's Search for Meaning

So I decided to start a blog, not so much because I think it's time to enter the 21st century, because if I did I probably wouldn't have a cell phone that's 6 years old. But more for others to be able to keep track of my progress and so that I'll have some written form of what I've gone through. Not to mention I might be able to pull this off and get class credit for it. Bonus!

My blog is titled back on 2 wheels for that simple reason, to get me back on 2 wheels. I haven't ridden a bike since October 28th,  and it's a way I can sort out my thoughts, that I would usually do when I'm riding. Why am I trying to get back on 2 wheels, well I'm not really sure, what is compelling me so much to come back, well I haven't figure that out yet. 

I'm hoping that maybe this blog will be able to help others in a similar situation. Because I haven't found too many support groups for the awkward people like me, who don't die but don't exactly walk away from it either. See on October 28th I was hit by a car when I was riding my bike. And then the asshole drove off. But that's where he failed because I go to college, and college is all about preparing you for real life (right? ha) and I snagged his license plate number. I really don't understand how people are so stupid, but clearly if he's dumb enough to hit a biker he's dumb enough to drive off. I don't want to bog you down with too many specifics but basically he made a turn when he shouldn't have and BAM there I was. A couple of eyewitnesses called the police, so I was a little surprised, when the fire truck showed up, but as soon as the guys got off I was not mad about it. The ambulance showed up soon after and they gave me some great drugs, so great that I thought it was awesome what had just happened and couldn't stop laughing when I called home to tell what happened. 

From the gurney my bike didn't seem to be in to bad of shape so while I was at the hospital I planned on taking it to the bike shop in the morning and going to for a short ride before practice (I got injured last year playing, which is why I took up biking and wasn't cleared in time for the season but stayed on the team as a manager). I figure the sooner I get back on the bike the less time I have to think about it. Well at the hospital I got X-Rays and all that good stuff and with no broken bones there was really no reason for me to stay, but I was pretty banged up, some bruised ribs, sternum and mild concussion, yes I was loving life. Well I wasn't too banged up but my bike was. The next day I was told it was totaled. LAME!

One good thing that came out of this, was at the hospital they had to cut me out of my clothes as I was spine boarded and told not to move (which left my neck marinating in my own sweat in the neck collar for 4 hours, that was pleasant!) so when I had to leave they gave me srubs to wear out, which ultimately became my Halloween costume because I went as a biker who got hit by a car, coincidentally.  

So yah. . .I say that's why I haven't ridden yet, because I don't have a new bike, but I have a perfectly good mountain bike sitting in my room. I just haven't put in the effort to get a new helmet yet, which I desperately need as mine is now out of commission. I realized this the other night that I could get on my mtb, or Machine Gun Kelly, as I call him, but haven't, I blame the weather or that I don't have enough time or that I wouldn't be able to find a good patch of woods to ride in, or it's too hilly. But I seem to be running out of good excuses. Especially since I'm planning on getting a new road bike at some point this spring and I realized that my first time back on a bike should not be in a showroom, and should not be on the test ride. 

So this is where the class credit part comes in. I'm taking a directed readings psychology class with my class dean and trying to navigate the pathways of my brain. It's really too bad someone hasn't figure out all the answers yet as it would help me. While my Dad is a little reserved about the whole class thing, as I'm sure his thoughts are it won't help me get into law school (gag me) I think it's a pretty cool deal, especially because we have covered some pretty interesting things so far. I'll share a couple of the readings with you so far: I read Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning which was a good read, pretty easy I would recommend it for nothing else than the good quotes that he has. Like, "Lose faith in the future and the future is doomed" and "Each man is questioned by life and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible" and my personal favorite "He who has a why, can bear with almost any how." Which for Frankl in the concentration camp was the thought that his wife would be on the other side when he got out, so he needed to make it though for her. 
Frankl also points out in another book that this is considered the age of anxiety, but really what do we have to be so anxious about, especially in this country? Most of us have the luxury of 3 meals a day, and are constantly attached to blackberrys, or smartphones, checking facebook. If we're anxious it's our own fault because we chose to stay connected all the time. If anything we're anxious because we keep believing that the more we have the happier we'll become. More facebook friends, more plans every weekend, this constant need to fulfill our lives with this thought that we should constantly be happy only shuts the door faster. Because think about it, happiness is only an emotion, like hunger. Are you hungry all the time? No, so don't expect to be happy all the time. 

We read Ivan Ilynch, which was interesting because it ends and it doesn't really state why he died. See he gets in a small accident while renovating his house- he falls off the later and hits his side, which is enough to give himself a bruise. All this time goes by and he just keeps getting worse and worse and eventually he dies. It's a little overdramatic, but I could see what the author was getting at. Ivan's life was superficial and it took the accident for him to realize it. Personally I think he realized this and figured he didn't want to keep living this life but it was going downhill way to fast to even pump the breaks so he stopped trying to figure out the chaos that surrounded him and thus succumbed to death. Which I think when you see the light (or darkness) it's hard to go back to pretending in your life when you realize it's been fake. Or maybe he suffered a severe case of rhabdomyolysis and unlike all those Iowa football players because it was in the 1800s it ultimately was fatal. Who knows. 

That's all I know for now, maybe this week I'll pick out a helmet or sit on a bike because I've been taking spinning classes to help maintain my endurance levels, each time I'm in class I think I cannot wait to get back on the bike if for nothing else than for the cutout saddle.