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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joys of Indoor Training Part II - Riding Is My Ritalin

Disjointed thoughts, whether it’s shouting to no one in particular in an empty room or imagining thirsty kids becoming adult alcoholics - are not unusual when I’m on the trainer. It seems contradictory I know, but these insane thoughts keep me sane. Just as Sophie has chased many rabbits not knowing she’d never catch them, I don’t know why I ride a trainer. The effort is too hard on my mind and body and, besides, the trainer always wins. 

In Sophie’s case, the rabbit always wins. These days Sophie has learned to ignore the rabbit rather than chase it futilely. As exciting as it is and rewarding as it could be, not chasing rabbits – or cats or prairie dogs, makes more sense and minimizes the risk of humiliation as well. 

Everyone risks humiliation every day, right? For me it’s humiliating to be at home all day while your spouse – and what feels like everyone else – is out working. Work carries its own sort of humiliations, different from those of feeling stuck at home. 

For me, getting a job is my strong point. Like the trainer, it is an exercise in persistence to me: Will I stick with it long enough to reach my goal? So far I always have. My real job, I believe, is getting the job. It’s my way of feeling wanted, I suppose. But once I’ve got the job, its novelty wanes and so does my interest. It usually does not return except in the form of another new job.

I have always done my best when I’ve worked alone, something I learned as a kid. Then, I mowed neighbor’s lawns, making twenty bucks here and there. It was good money then. After that I had a gig for a few years delivering the morning paper on my bike. It was still repetitive work, but I remained the one in charge. It shaped my work preferences into what they are today.

As a newspaper carrier, the rewards were great. I had spending money and nobody telling me what to do. So did my best friend. While other kids depended on handouts from their parents, we were both autonomous and happy. These things were rewards unto themselves, and they still are. 

Today, my poor memory has ended that autonomy and the happiness it once carried with it. I rely on someone else now to handle the budget, as I don’t remember the details. I do not recall the details on the spreadsheet, either. Overall, I feel almost no control over it.

Frustrating? You bet. What else can I do? Will that ever change? I don’t know, nor do I count on it happening. It almost makes the indoor trainer seem doable by comparison.

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