Thursday, March 24, 2011

Angry Is The Wind

Last year I spent the entire first week on Fuerteventura angry at the wind. 

Why was it punishing me?  
Making me ride slower than I knew I could?  
Whistling constantly, making me unable to hear my riding partners and leaving me in a personal high-pitched bubble, and forcing me to struggle fruitlessly up so many not-very-steep hills? 
It was being ruthless - TO ME - ON PURPOSE!

Every day I tried to beat the wind and in the process, I wasted nearly as much emotional energy as I did physical.

Then I realized I could never beat the wind, certainly not at it's own game.  A camper said it well: "With a hill, you can see the end.  With the wind, there is no end." 

So with nothing to beat outright, my goal became to beat myself (or more aptly, my emotions) at my (their) own game: get to a point where I didn't mind the wind, where I didn't let it get into my headspace and drive me completely bonkers as it drives my average speed completely into the ground.  Maybe even to where I didn't notice it at all.

That is how I beat the wind.  I rode steady in effort (a powermeter helps) and controlled in application of emotion.  And slowly, the wind bothered me less and less (because it sure never stopped blowing).  The wind became just another aspect of the landscape, like the mountains or the road surface or the cast of the sun, to take into account throughout the ride.  The hills rise.  The sun shines.  The pavement cracks.  And the wind blows.

Now the wind is the angry one.  It doesn't quite as much attention paid to it and fists shaken at it anymore.

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