Easter Monday 21st 51F, 11C, overcast, breezy. Possible showers this morning.
Apparently I am an exercise self-abuser. As dependent on cycling as a drug addict is on toxic chemicals. It must be true because it is all over the Danish papers. Continuing to exercise while injured is a sure sign. As is the feeling of the day being completely empty without a ride. The guilt associated with taking a rest day is another.
Thank goodness I am cycling on public roads and not training on a turbo under some rusting bridge in a run-down, industrial backwater. Or hiding my guilty secret in a dark corner of a seedy gym or (groan) pedalling away my dwindling self-esteem at home alone!
The really funny, but achingly tragic part of all of this, is that rest is "a good thing." It gives the mind, body and muscles time to repair themselves. Probably leading to better performance than continuing to train without a rest. Try telling that to a habitual addict with the skinny arms, bumpy legs and protruding veins to prove it! Oh, the awful shame!
The blame for my downward spiral into my chronic cycle of exercise self-abuse can be laid squarely at the feet of the bankers. They brought about the recession and the constant pressure to export as many jobs as possible to the slave labour countries. Otherwise a company's quarterly results [and thus their share price] would go down in the nano-second between electronic trading cycles! Now add in the politic-ooze's shallow attempts to curry favour with white trash voters by openly punishing the unemployed. Ensure there are no jobs (at all) at the hilariously misnamed "Job Centres" and over-staff them to the gunwales with fully paid up members of the New Nazi Youth. Arbeit Macht Frei! Now you know why I started fixing on cycling!
Discarded, like so many others, onto the growing unemployment register, it was required that I sought three job interviews per week. I was 63 when I was made redundant along with many others in my age group and many of my former colleagues. Worse, I was crippled with RSI from decades of serious manual overload. But too unfit for early retirement on the grounds of ill health.
I was two years away from normal retirement age with few useful job or Danish language skills to offer. So I was arguably less attractive to any employer than a habitual drunk with a swastika tattooed on my forehead and a ring in my nose. And, if that made me attractive then I would still be right at the back of the queue of swastika bearing, ring-nosed drunks!
To avoid the heavy financial burden of driving everywhere in my old car I rode my trike to every failing, windblown, industrial estate, solitary unkempt factory and weed infested, rural business. Usually to be told that they were "already downsizing."
Thus began my fall into chronic self-abuse by over-training on my trike. I went out in blizzards at temperatures down to -15C to prove I was actively job seeking. I used every psychological trick to help me to keep up this strangely eccentric behaviour. Rather than lapse into nihilistic depression. Or an uncontrollable rage at the intolerable unfairness of life, the universe and everything.
I actually imagined I had gained some status as a cyclist. Rather than having no status at all as an unemployed nobody. I blogged and scribbled down my mileage to prove how serious I was. I took self portraits in roadside hazard mirrors to prove I was actually out there in the wind and the rain. I kept lists of businesses I visited and constantly changed my routes as I searched for any potential place of employment.
No jobs were ever offered but I seemed to amuse those I met. I may have actually served a far more vital role as a tricycling clown by providing spontaneous entertainment therapy to depressed businesses. The rest is blogging history. Until, that is, I was eventually informed that I had officially retired. Having escaped from the dole queue I unaccountably kept up the daily tricycling fix. Though not on a fixie, I hasten to add. One still has some pride!
Thanks to the headlines I am now (no doubt) quite widely known as a cycling self-abuser. It is difficult to avoid this conclusion as I leave home most days dressed like a Tour de France racer. But incongruously mounted on such an unlikely steed as an adult trike. Does not compute!!
What price my status now? I see my role as one of low impact, self-preservation and bugger the tabloid press! I exercise. Therefore I am. I avoid sugar and other crap non-foods and should thus be a lighter burden on the health service. Not to mention being lighter on my feet. My constant exercise [albeit self-abuse in journalsleeze] keeps me amused rather than bored out of my tiny skull.
A 3 mile walk through woods and fields in an hour and half, soaking up the spring countryside, watching birds and counting hares. I met a black cat on a spray track a good mile from any house. It began to rain gently in the last mile.
I shall be self-abusing on my filthy, tricycling habit after lunch. Well, no matter how low I sink, at least I'm not a banker. Nor a "musical chairs" politician. Nor an, equally worthless, journalist. Nor, god forbid, a member of the insecurity services. ['Scuse my language!) ;ø))
Despite the strong, gusty wind I still managed 21 miles of excessive exercise. I saw a Blackcap right beside the road and a pair of Red kites alighting on a midfield copse. Traffic was very light. I have just passed 2000 miles for the year. It's going to be a poor year indeed unless I increase my overdoses of completely inexcusable exercise.