Losing your mojo

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  • I think finding another Nanny would be my priority. Appreciate it's tricky though. We've failed in our quest so far and as a result I don't do anything fun that doesn't involve a three year old and a 9 month old.

  • I got back on the bike by making it a secondary thing - the bike was a tool to achieve a goal. Specifically I wanted to get out into the countryside to take photos of things. I didn’t think of the bike as anything other than a tool to get to that other goal. I wasn’t going for a bike ride, I was going to take photos. After a while I found that order of priority was starting to flip, now I barely bother to take my camera out on the bike.

  • I think will put me in an early grave at this rate

    it REALLY isn't worth it. block some time out in your diary for you. Even if it is 07.30 to 08.30 e.g. previous commute time. OK you might not be able to go out riding due to kids but you can do something that isn't work. Stress is real. I have been coming to the office once a week just as a motivation to ride the bike on the commute

  • Yeah trying to find maternity cover is impossible. No one (understandably) wants a job where it can be for a month or a year or forever with no guarantees. You’re totally at the mercy of the person on maternity leave (which is the way it of course has to be), but it means we’re in limbo for what seems like an eternity.

  • I am an all or nothing personality. For years I wanted to do yoga at home as well as in classes. It was only when I committed to doing some every day that I developed a home practice. I started it with just 5-10 minutes a day and that is what I am committed to. But most days I do an hour to an hour and a half.

    Lockdown happened and I added a focus to TrainerRoad as I had lost my cycling mojo entirely. Committing to a plan and ensuring I did 3 sessions a week got me going again. Now it’s 4 sessions a week unless I get out to do a real ride.

    I think a little and often is the best place to start. Quickly it seems foolish to just do something really short so the time extends.
    It’s being selfish to make that commitment but I tend to be a better human when I am doing some self care stuff.

  • I’ve got meetings for the next few hours, then the dentist, then pick the kids up, then feed, bath and get them to bed, then do another million hours of work. Shit excuses I know.

    I just want to point out that these are not shit excuses. They're real life and have to get done.

    I've dropped any expectations of myself to go racing or do big events. Be honest with yourself. I simply can't make the commitment like I used to be able to. Early morning weekend rides knock it out of me too much to be able to function properly so I've had to drop those. I also don't get to commute by bike every day any more, now only 1-2 times a week. Once I accepted that I simply couldn't do any of those any more and stopped beating myself up about it, it became a lot easier.

    Instead, I try to insert my bike into other areas of my life. I have a cargo bike now. I try to do the weekly shop either on the cargo bike or with a big bag on my back. That way I can enjoy being on two wheels while doing chores. Instead of weekend rides, I chuck my son in the cargo bike or in the Hamax and we go exploring the local paths for a couple of hours. Try to get my OH to come along on her bike too (easier once the baby is bigger). When I commute, I'm on my wildest fixie with a disc wheel on the back and a big grin on my face - I make it count and try to enjoy every mile even if it's pissing down. When I get the rare chance to go out socialising I almost always reach straight for my bike as means of transport, it's part of the occasion for me.

    Don't feel bad about it though. Real life gets in the way. Key thing is getting out when you can and, if you can, making sure the kids are involved because they'll be able to come out and join you when they get bigger.

  • Hah, I feel like once my kids are big enough there will be nothing left of me.

  • Thanks for that, was genuinely therapeutic to read! I think you’re right in the realism side of things. I’m not going to be at the pointy end of races for a long fucking time in my current situation, and comparing everything against those times is silly (but hard to avoid). Just need to find a window here or there and make it fun again.

  • I can sympathise with this because I've been in a situation which had some similarity with yours.

    I suddenly and unexpectedly became a single parent (children 12 and 14 at the time). It wasn't my wife's fault btw, but it happened.

    My racing career was going quite well (for me, anyway) at the time, but this event put a stop to it, at least in the medium term, but not for ever.

    It's proverbial that 'In life, it's always later than you think', but in a cycling career this is less true than in most areas because it's possible to go on competing, especially in time trials, much later than in many other sports.

    You haven't mentioned your age and this does seem significant. In my own cycling life I have had three separate phases of competition: youth, early middle age and late middle age. It's possible you may end up with something similar

    When things start to improve, you might think about other roles in the bike game, rather than just being a competitor. For example if you've done any road racing, you might become a commissaire or in time trialling there's a desperate need for organisers (also true of road racing).

    For my part, in the past few years I've done a fair amount of race reporting which I've found has kept me in touch in a way that pleases me more than trying to maintain race fitness in old age.

    So however difficult things seem now, it's likely they will improve. When children are born, they can seem like a life sentence, but after they've grown up, you find it hard to believe how quickly it happened - I hope this doesn't sound like a platitude, but it is a common view among those with independent children.

    So, be patient, try to keep ticking over, be ready to come back when life allows.

  • Thanks @clubman - appreciate your thoughts!

    I’m 37, three kids under 5, another one due June 2022. I think racing has been such a big part of my life up to the last few years that it’s perhaps not a loss of mojo but a sort of mourning for what I know I won’t be able to do to the same extent over the coming years. All self-inflicted and minor worries in the scale of things but you’re right that I just need to just look at this time as like an extended off-season!

    Get a ride in here or there when possible and try and keep the pressure off myself about watts and weight (as there is more than enough pressure on every other aspect of my life!).

    I’ve had my arse handed to me in races by guys in their mid-forties on many occasions(!) so you are quite right about the longevity in the sport, particularly in the TTs which I love.

    Right now I need to just try to step back from work a little somehow. With number four on the way next summer and my wife planning to get straight back into work (she is building something from scratch at the mo which is going to be all-consuming for the next few years) I’ll need to make sure I’m fit and healthy (and mentally sane!) for the kids rather than working through the night six days a week. Must find time for a ride and make it fun!

  • For some reason i've really lost all motivation to get out on a bike of late (actually over the last couple of years).
    I used to love buying and selling - working on projects and getting out exploring the countryside but now i just cannot be bothered .
    I used to cycle to work from time to time and enjoyed the commute and the buzz it gave me but obviously now i WFH for the majority of the time so there's no need.
    Given the choice now i'd rather be doing stuff to my car or in the garden doing other small projects / gardening (i'm also coming up to 52) and this happened when i hit 50.
    The curse of middle age (if i live to 100) ?

  • Interests come and go. Don't force it. If you're not feeling it, don't do it. I am much the same and I'm 28... I still love looking at bikes and thinking about riding, but if I have a whole free day, I'm gonna go hiking. You'll always be a cyclist, just maybe not a really active one right now.

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Losing your mojo

Posted by Avatar for Wrongcog @Wrongcog