Tuesday Trippin’ July 12

It’s not just hot, it’s been hot long enough that people are tired of it, especially here in the south. and in some places we are breaking previous heat records for highest (“reliably measured”) temperature on earth, and other extremes regularly, including highest lows.

Locally, there’s been a small respite. Hurricane Elsa, the fifth named storm of the season passed south and east of us bringing rain and some cooler temperatures, a bit of an irony, because warmer ocean temperatures favor storm formation. Elsa was the earliest named 5th storm in history.

The weather made riding hit or miss, with a few good hits. The knee pain was medium to mild, but still around, then almost gone by the time I posted this. It turned out not to be caused by the strength training. I didn’t see how it could be, but the timing made me wonder and I couldn’t think of any other reason at the time. I discovered it was actually because we didn’t get my seat height and angle properly adjusted after the musical bikes. That’s all better now. I’m still liking the new flat bike shoes and pedals, but they’re not 100% at taking care of the tingle and cramps I get in the right foot. I got rides four days in a row. After giving it a rest for a bit, it could be that no shoe would help. Irregular activity levels irritate my problem.

On one of the earlier rides, I saw a newborn fawn. It was the first time for me. As I was approaching, I thought it was a thin sick dog, but then I saw the wet, vibrant dark red brown fur with the bright white spots and thought “Oh dear, where’s Mama? I hope she knows I’m not gonna hurt her baby.” Then the fawn ran away more awkwardly than Bambi on ice. Just afterward I bought a new “flagship” phone. It might give me some better options for getting the unexpected images while riding pre “official” project start time. It’s definitely going to give me better stills without having to carry the Nikon.

I’ve been writing a lot, mostly some of the (not yet finished) posts that should be up when I launch the kickstarter. I’ve also been applying to jobs. It’s not that I can do both the project and a job. I can’t. The project is more than full time for both of us and I’m still trying to get my expected project hours per week down much closer to 40. And, it’s certainly not that I have given up on the video project. Doing something that fits my need to make a difference could be the most important thing I might do next. And, Russ could use a break from his current life to do that as much as I could. What he could really use is about 20 hours a week when he gets plenty of exercise and doesn’t have to manage the expectations of a dozen people in an hour. Really, the reason I applied is that some of the jobs I once wanted very much came floating across my laptop. They did that now. I don’t know that I’d even get an interview for any of them, but back-up plans are pretty important, especially when you’re chasing a long shot, and I may have and answer on this project before any of those companies are ready to interview, so it’s not irresponsible to apply for a job I might not be able to take. If I ever get myself into consideration for the positions in the first place, I can responsibly take myself out as soon as appropriate.

In fact, some people, people who care about me might ask why I’m even thinking of spending another year and a half pursuing unpaid work. It’s really hard to explain. Money is important. Everybody has expenses, and the more money you have, the more options you have. Options are good. I’d like more of them. At the same time, money isn’t what motivates me most in life. It’s the pursuit of whatever I’m following at the moment that lights my fire. I get it. In the world we live in, that takes money, which is why I’m planning a kickstarter. But, my great pleasures are thinking and doing and giving. I don’t get so much pleasure from earning money, I get pleasure from earning opportunities. The distinction may sound trivial, but I’d be a happy clam in a Star Trek Universe where money isn’t really a thing and science, discovery, connection and truth are not just valued, they are the whole point.

I’m thinking about these things at the same time I’ve reached that place in this project where I sometimes give up on myself. That’s not related to those back up job applications I just mentioned. Those were just the choice to have backup potential. It’s related to refining an idea so well, while at the same time keeping most of it in my own head, (and some of it here in these posts). I believe in this project strongly, but I haven’t shared many details, even among some of my closest people. Part of that is because I’m accustomed to caring deeply about more things than most of my people are even interested in knowing exist. I have written 40+ Tuesday updates, but not even Russ has read many of them. When I tell my granddaughter I need some time to work on the computer, I suspect my children assume I’m typing furiously in a FB group (which is only true sometimes :).

The isolation I feel is partly because it’s my MO to be self contained about my ideas, and it’s partly because things are so busy and stressful too. All that stress I mentioned in one of those Tuesday updates? So here’s the thing. I’ve both applied to jobs and hit my wall, both at about the same time. I probably understand my strengths and shortcomings fairly well, and I’m still spending all the time I can pursuing this project. It must be what I am supposed to do next. So, for right now, I’ll just keep plugging along and make it work.

Training Tuesday October 13- 19

Goal    99 miles

Actual Total  85 miles

1st Ride 14 miles

2nd Ride 14 miles

3rd 24 miles

4th  Ride 0 miles

5th Ride 33 miles

Week Total   85 miles

1st Ride  It was a short mileage accumulator to fit easily into my schedule. I’ve been doing some rides at Big Creek lately. At the times I’ve gone, the crowd was closer to the old normal, but there’s still little-to-no mask wearing and the predictions are for a strong winter surge in Covid-19 cases. While riding, or not, is one of the few places where I get to choose my level of pandemic risk.  I have significant risks coming from several directions like people with “essential jobs” in our household, doing necessary to life things and grandchildren who will soon have no choice but to go to school in person.

2nd ride   Second verse, same as the first. The rub is that, while this project does potentially expose me to additional risk, the cardiovascular fitness that was wasting away while I was in isolation is a key factor in surviving if I do get the virus. I look on it as a strong net positive in risk factors, I just have to keep the risks as low as I can where I can. I’ll soon post about my mask experimentation.

3rd Ride  A nice average ride with a little plantar fasciitis pain in the left foot. It’s been creeping upward lately. I’ve been grateful that it isn’t as bad as last time I trained up to this point in pursuit of a high miles. I waited too long to get back in the habit of using my “ProStretch Blue”. It does work, at least for me, and I’m already feeling better.

4th ride  I’ve known that I should start using a checklist for a little bit now. We have a lot going on and our distractions are at all levels high and low. I’ve ridden without the right shoes. I’ve ridden without my sunglasses at times when it mattered, and there was the day I left my helmet at the place we stopped for lunch. I changed my process to hooking the helmet to the bike to take care of that oversight. I’m about to add a personal bike gear basket to the car in addition to the group bike gear tub we already have. My grandson is on an MTB team, so gear for Russ and I is not all we have to keep up with. A personal basket will help, but only a checklist will take care of getting my spaghetti brain back on track when there’s a catastrophe with one of the baby dolls, stuffies or plastic dinosaurs. Things gloves and other gear has to make it out of the laundry and back in the basket EVERY TIME. Today, we drove all the way to Rockmart only to look at the back of the car and see that the bikes weren’t loaded. That’s Russ’ job normally, but I walked right past the end of the car in the driveway without looking at it, so we share responsibility. ZERO MILES. Another 2+ hours of more driving to get back with the bikes was both too late and too much water under the bridge.

5th ride  I started at dawn to be sure I’d get the rest of my miles in before babysitting. I was literally sitting in the parking lot waiting on the light (I’m happy to ride in pre-light, but the trail isn’t open). It was cool. I’ve lost a slight bit of weight recently (with effort). I only had a banana for breakfast, which is usually fine for me, but with that combination of things, I didn’t have the juice to make the longer ride. I realized that I was riding really slow and refocusing on my riding didn’t pick up the pace. I stopped at the next bench to check for a snack. I might have plodded through the other miles if I had one, but I turned back because I didn’t know how much harder it would get if I didn’t. This was the week for CHECKLIST to be emblazoned on the project. I’m now down to 4 buffer weeks left in to my schedule for setbacks and holidays. I haven’t decided if, once I bounce back, I might try to intentionally increase one of more weeks by more than 10%. Over time, I now have some retro-10% to work with, but I could cause myself some trouble if I’m not careful. Of course, electric assist bikes exist, but I think it adds something to the end user’s enjoyment of the video if I peddle the whole project through. It certainly makes a difference to me.