I took the speedometer off my bike. For some reason when it is there I am enslaved by it. I hold myself to an expectation of maintaining a certain speed. Though it was frustrating at first, I feel like I am riding stronger without it. Of course, that could be entirely false as I don’t have a way to measure how fast I am going, but it feels that way. It has allowed me to focus on other things and has been quite liberating.
I have always been a little obsessive when it comes to measuring time and distance. I’m always counting things. It’s 8 miles and there are 7 lights and 9 stop signs. How many minutes does it take? If I push x amount faster, how will it affect y? I use the numbers as a distraction by trying to calculate in my head different things like exactly what time will I arrive. I also use the measurements to judge myself. As if it really matters if I ride to work in 26 minutes or 29. I can tell you that the difference in effort between those 3 minutes is substantial!
Sure there are some times when actual measurement of time is important. For instance, how long you cook your chicken or what time you get to work. I can’t deny, with endurance sports at least, that paying attention to measurements can help you reach a greater potential by incrementally pushing yourself further. For the most part however, I think I pay far too much attention to the arbitrary units of time and distance. Occasionally I forget and must force myself to remember the joy should actually come from the doing and not whether it took less time than yesterday or not.
It’s possible that I would actually enjoy things more, and perhaps get more out of it, if they took longer. My speedometer is off but I’m still wearing the watch. For now.
“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”
Week of September 13 – Run 48, Bike 64