A client of mine made the wonderful observation that most people seemed to get paid to come to work and talk nonsense all day.
He included himself in this observation and I will readily admit that I often pause during whatever program I am delivering and check in and see if people are in fact making any sense of what I am banging on about.
I like the word nonsense.
It makes me smile when I start to lose it or get caught up in my own little world of whatever is important. This weekend was a classic example.
We were down the coast with our friends for our annual weekend away. We have been coming to the same place for the last 12 years. There are 4 of us who went to school together in the UK and our families.
I took my bike so on Saturday morning at 5am I was stumbling around our cabin trying to get ready to ride. Despite giving myself a stern talking to the previous night about not overdoing it and getting too carried away, several bottles of red and 3 plates of Chinese takeaway was probably not the best preparation.
I could have easily just gone back to bed, but I had made a commitment to the man who is helping me understand how to use my power meter, that I would ride flat out up a climb as some sort of test (we could call this man, a coach, but it would be complete nonsense for a middle aged man to get himself one of those, when he has no intention of ever racing, and the event he is preparing for only really requires him ride his bike lots).
So regardless of how I was feeling I had to ride. That was until I found that my Garmin only had 18% battery life left. For those of you who may be uneducated in these things, this little computer basically collects all the data from your power meter, your heart rate monitor and GPS data as well. It tracks your ride so that you can then upload it to whatever system you want and people can marvel at what you have done or analyse it so they can tell you how to ride faster.
My primary goal is to get fit to ride in France, so I could easily have just ridden my bike, but I had made a commitment and didn’t want to look like I wasn’t taking things seriously. If it is not on the computer it might just as well not have happened. I could have waited for an hour, charged it, and then ridden but such an idea was complete nonsense to me at the time.
So I hatched a cunning plan, I had to ride flat out anyway, so I’d just welly it from the off and see if I could make it up the climb before my computer died. It’s was a 30km ride to the start of the climb so I headed into the pitch black as if I was being chased.
The excess Chinese and wine applied an immediate hand break and I had to back it off straight away. At least by the time I’d got to the climb I’d hoped that I may be feeling a little better.
Sure enough an hour or so later as I started climbing Cambewarra Mountain I wasn’t feeling too rough. My normal routine is to pace myself up these climbs, it has previously made no sense to go like the clappers just for the sake of it. But there was a job to do, I rode as fast as I could and hoped that my Garmin held on as I made my way in the early dawn light up the 5km climb.
I had no idea how I was going on the climb as the screen for my Garmin had switched itself off as part of it’s power save mode. Again it would seem like more nonsense that you can’t actually tell how hard you are working without a computer telling you, but sometimes you can feel rough but your heart rate will tell you that you can do more.
I got to the top and headed straight down the other side, it’s a steep decent so had to concentrate and by the time I’d got to the bottom I was feeling OK again. Maybe I didn’t go hard enough? I wasn’t about to repeat it and rode gently up another climb to head for home.
On the way back my Garmin finally died, fortunately I had the data I needed and rode back to spend the day with my family and friends.
This weekend is all about nonsense. Talking nonsense, dressing up in outfits that make no sense and a chance to catch up, relax and enjoy ourselves. I wasn’t going to let the fact that I failed to beat my PB on the climb by 3 seconds or that Strava is missing 15km from my ride log ruin the weekend. Getting upset over such minor things would be complete nonsense.