Dang am I tired!
I rode to the baseball game yesterday. The weather was great. It was a 4 pm start. I figured I’d get home long before dark.
Then the Nationals put 18 runs on the board against the woeful Reds. You know you’re in trouble when your pitcher’s first name is “Homer”. I am not making this up.
I nearly got whiplash from watching batted balls fly all over the place. Home plate had a dent in it by the 8th inning.
I rode home at twilight. I used blinky LED lights and made it about 2/3rds of the way home before it became legitimately dark. Rather than stop and mount my real light, I carried on. The entire ride would have been wonderful but for the exploding midge population along the river. Ick.
Today I got up and did some light yard work. Mostly I cut branches so that I could ride straight to the shed in my backyard without getting my face all torn up.
After writing an unintentionally woo woo blog post, I hopped on my bike and headed back to the ballpark for another game. This time the Reds scored a bunch of runs early and the game dragged on under a hot sun for over 3 hours. I was fried despite the sunscreen I applied. Rather than buy beer, I bought water.
The game really was a dud to watch. So I kept looking up and the clouds drifting over the park. The sky was just perfect.
I left quickly and rode home on impulse power. All weekend the trail was cluttered with people in groups riding slowly on rental bikes and Bikeshare tanks. Little kids popped up as if obstacles in a video game.
I did not drop one single f-bomb. (Takes a bow.)
I even stopped to help a woman on a Bikeshare bike who crashed. I saw her go down and knew it wasn’t serious, but these things tend to feel much worse than they are. It took her about five or ten minutes to let the pain dissipate and to get her composure. We sent her on her way. “Finish your ride, then drink some wine.” She and her partner liked the idea. Then I said “No tylenol.” When I told her that tylenol and alcohol are toxic to the liver she was shocked. She explained she regularly took tylenol before drinking to avoid a hangover. My work here is done.
When I got home I was pretty tired from riding and sitting in the sun. So I mowed my lawn. What a maroon. I am now officially rode hard and put away wet.
Tomorrow I am dropping my daughter’s car off for service and cutting 24 miles off my bike commute. It’s a bit like resting your old players in a day game after a night game.
Finally a note about yesterday’s blog post. A friend of mine, who I will call Brian because that is his real name (or so he tells me), declared me to be his guru. He is currently sitting on my back porch meditating which is appropriate given the twisted provenance of the title of his advice column in the local weekly newspaper. Anyway, he will henceforth be referred to herein as Sexy Sadie.
The thing is my woo woo post was actually motivated by the neurology of attention. A few years ago there was a video about attention that went viral. It demonstrates that our brains have limited processing capability, especially when assigned a complex task. Watch a teenager learning to drive. They are overwhelmed mentally. They have to sort out what’s important and what’s not. Over time, they learn to tune out the “not”. We all do. The problem comes when the “not” unexpectedly becomes important. This happens a lot when you’re driving.
Another takeaway from this is the fact that we are on autopilot so much of the time. Walk into the kitchen. Grab a cookie. If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is become aware of your brain seeking a little pleasure reward and ask “Is this a need or a want?” If you want to increase your savings you do the same before you buy anything. This may explain why I am an incompetent consumer.
What flips me out is the fact that your brain can hyper focus during an emergency. Mrs. Rootchopper and I both experienced this when we each were hit by a car. It turns out that for brief bursts our brains can pay attention to and absorb an astounding amount of information with incredible clarity. It’s really unsettling, in a way. You have more thoughts than you normally have time to think them. So you normally unthink them. Your brain knows to ignore the useless stuff. If you stop for a few minutes and refocus on them, you’ll find out what you are missing. As it turns out, you’re missing a lot.