Allow me to generalize. It's the only thing holding us together:
As humans that are existing in an often monotonus and repetitive daily grind, it's natural to seek out a project - something to remind yourself that you are actually alive and capable of dealing with real, genuine adversity.
As cyclists, this is sometimes where riding your bike and trying to ride your bike faster meet. Training. Where fist meets the tree, and skin meets the road. Going faster is pretty uncomfortable; this thing we call fun, it hurts sometimes.
We tend to forget the pain, of course. That's the nature of the human psyche, and an important component in the forward propagation of our species - we have a tendency not to recall just how bad it felt. Childbirth. Heartbreak. Intervals. These are the things we tend to block out, and thankfully so. Otherwise, there wouldn't be races, or love, or a reproducing population in general.
|nameless, faceless road rash. OUCH.|
Consider this situation: you're out there riding intervals, up on the parkway somewhere, head down, hammer down, swerving a little, doing your usual thing which is basically augmenting the monotony of your reality with a little adversity. Enterpainment, as you know.
And behind you on the same road, here come a couple of 17-year olds in their Mom's honda, staring at some bizarre, virtual reality world of Nintendo-based genius that only exists in their phones and their heads. Head down, hammer down, swerving a little. Sound familiar? It should. They are, without a doubt, augmenting their own reality with some man-made adversity themselves, fully distracted from the monotony of their lives. Not so different than you are right at that moment, except they're about to run you over.
We have way, way more in common than not. Sure, we are going about self-imposing our respective forms of challenge in different ways, but we're all on the same road, and that's actually the problem.
It's your right to forget how to deal with adversity, but do so at your own risk - lest you lose the ability to actually deal with trauma when it finally comes knocking at your door. It will. Same goes for hunters, hikers, street racers, naturalists, and even triathletes, and all the other people and their forms of entertainment that we find bizarre but have to share the world and the road with anyway. It's either infuriating, or it's like looking in the mirror at a brick wall. Or more than likely, it's both.
We live in a Brave New Weird World, getting weirder all the time.
In fact, sometimes it's not even a world at all - just a virtual reality version of the world that is indistinguishable from the actual world. But no less weird, or new, or brave.
Have caution: get used to it.
Up, up, up.