Calm in the eye of the storm…

It feels like i’m opening myself up to the criticism du jour but i find life stressful, i find the modern work place harder and harder to subjugate myself to. The pressure that i feel means that i no longer consider the modern work place to be a Dolly Parton kind of place…less 9-5 and more 9-9. Having the ability to check emails any time and any place and given my role working in IT designing systems meaning i can work any time and any place. Most days it feels like i am my own worst enemy creating the prison that i seem to willingly put myself into everyday.

So the question is, how best to maintain the work life balance or at least how best to distract my brain from thinking about work and exploding. Everyone has their outlet and coping strategy and mine is riding a bike.

I find that the training ride the best way to sort through the day, the week and solve problems, bimbling along the quiet sussex country lanes with only the odd pothole to focus the mind. The legs turn without thinking, riding on auto pilot leaves my brain free to think about what ever is troubling me that day and hopefully solve it or at least accept it.

What if i want more than that, what if i need to stop thinking about all of it, well racing is the way to go once you pin a number on that is all there is to think about.

A time trial is good start, but unless you are a complete glutton and do more than 25 miles its only going to distract you for an hour or so and i find the solo nature of it can lead to the mind wandering. There isn’t enough else going on to detract from the pain you are trying to inflict on yourself.

Road racing is the way to go, there is no chance of getting distracted, the wheel in front the wheel behind and the wheel on either side really focuses the mind. In a truly hard race the intensity of effort can be enough of a distraction, the surge of the peloton, the sprint out of the corners and then rise of the road. Trying to avoid the intensity can also be hard, watching the wind direction, following the right wheels and positioning yourself in the right place to smooth out the surges. At this point the brain enters a zen like state, what you are having for dinner is gone, the amount of unread emails in your mailbox and all the meetings you have the next day are obliterated. If you are truly lucky and this will last until you make it to bed when your legs are so tired all you can do is focus on refueling, cleaning and resting.

From the outside it might look like chaos but there truly is some calm and tranquility to find in the eye of the storm.

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