Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Exercising Our Demons….

I have to say, I actually really enjoy the holidays. Yes, the stress level is high, I hate shopping, I don’t like putting up the Christmas decorations, I don’t like wrapping presents, I don’t like assembling the fake tree with all of its million pieces, I don’t like going to the mall, I don’t like crowds, I could do without seeing most of the extended family and I don’t like the size of my Visa bill afterwards……but other than that I LOVE the holidays….

This year, in addition to all the normal holiday stuff, we can throw in family health challenges, issues our kids are dealing with, health issues with elder parents, financial challenges related to work circumstances and an almost insane amount of job stress and it’s like life is piling on layers and layers until I can’t even find my real self beneath it all.

I’m normally a pretty happy go lucky guy. I tend not to stress about stuff and I’m normally in a pretty good mood (despite what my daughters say) So, what to do….what to do…..well it’s pretty simple really…..whenever I feel like my internal stress thermostat is getting into the red zone, I just get on my bike and ride myself into an exercise induced coma…

Last Thursday night was our annual NiteDawgs Christmas ride and party. It had been raining all week, but thankfully, Wednesday and Thursday we supposed to be clear and dry….and they were for the first half of the ride anyway.

I still have the SS torn apart and really need to get it back together. In the meantime though, I’ve got the squishy bike totally dialed in now so as we started out on the 10 hills trail I just flipped the lever on the shock, downshifted and enjoyed a nice cushy spin up and down the hills.

I stood on the climbs since that’s what I’m used to, but I pretty much just let the bike do it’s thing as I felt the stress of the day falling off like melting ice from a warm rooftop. Every climb burned the life out of my legs and left more of the day on the trail behind me and every downhill ripped my life’s stress away and let it flutter into the wind behind me….

By the time we regrouped at the stone bridge I actually felt normal again. I was tired and muddy and happy to be alive. The climb out of the canyon only further wore out my legs and enhanced my feeling of well being.

Eventually, we made it back to the theater where we changed into less muddy clothes, enjoyed our Christmas celebration and the fellowship that comes from spending time with good friends…..this afterall, is what Christmas is supposed to be about.

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