As of right now the path forward isn’t as clear or as promising as we all would like. Isolation has revealed how scared and vulnerable we feel, forced to live with it like a bad roommate. Since this has all started, one thing I have learned is to focus on controlling only the controllables. Putting in the work and creating a new routine has allowed me to continue to embrace the things that give me joy and find day-to-day purpose!
"I can’t lie, at the start there were a few weeks of struggling to find a new routine…"
Before all of this uncertainty, I would roll out of bed to the front door in one well rehearsed movement before the sun has even risen to meet up for our club’s weekly coffee ride. All before going into the office, bikes, friends, and coffee were a constant, motivation to attend was high. Even if the pace was casual or regrettably high, these social times bonded us, something now I don’t take for granted.
When the order for social distancing and quarantining was issued, I was at a loss. I had my well rehearsed routine dialed and I was solely responsible for the choreography. Laying out my kit the night before, waking up without disturbing my partner, making sure the front door doesn’t make its rumbling thud on the way out–it was all a part of the plan.
I can’t lie, at the start there were a few weeks of struggling to find a new routine, but I was determined to learn the choreography just as well as the last one. It eventually stuck, and the rest of the world found a new routine as well.
With both the racing season and group rides being postponed for the near future, it's been difficult finding the right motivation to continue training. But still I manage to hop on the bike and push myself through hard workouts knowing it will do dividends to my fitness. I'm not thinking about racing at the moment, although fantasies of crossing the line first with my arms in the air are always there in the back of my mind.
As my legs fade and my heart rate climbs higher and higher, I think about what pulled me into cycling years ago. I remember as a kid always asking my parents to pack my bike on road trips. I remember hopping on a friend's commuter bike in college, and instantly feeling like I was that kid again blasting around in the cul-de-sac without a single worry.
"…it’s a relief still having contact and a support system with people going through similar situational and mental struggles!"
While we can’t feel the wind in our faces and meet at the coffee shop, our now club meets online through Zwift and chats through our Discord channel for after work spins. It’s not the same as before, but it’s a relief still having contact and a support system with people going through similar situational and mental struggles! While there is no racing and very few events planned in the future, I continue with my daily intervals on TrainerRoad to be prepared for the day we can race and ride in groups.
"From the dining table sipping my coffee, I end up thinking about the pre-pandemic days…"
I’m fortunate that I have my humble espresso machine. Learning how to pull proper espresso shots, steam the milk, make the latte art–all necessary for the well earned post ride coffee. Keeping me busy, it’s a hobby that has deepened my passion and appreciation for coffee.
From the dining table sipping my coffee, I end up thinking about the pre-pandemic days and how life is on a mundane repeat cycle, but I have faith that this isn’t the extent of our existence. Keep on doing what brings you joy. Stay motivated, because this isn’t the end! We’re in this together.