Comparatively thinking or YOLO
This time of the year Im sure that Im not alone when I feel just a little bit of jealousy looking at the images Swedish pro athletes are posting on social media.
Training camps from around the world. Sara Sjöström and National Swim team in Florida. Patrik Nilsson, Åsa Lundström, David Näsvik @ Playitas, Lisa Nordén in South Africa and, not to be forgotten, Fredric Croneborg – who manages to have fun in the sun all year round.
And here we are, the age groupers, working 9-5, getting home to the mental and physical darkness of winter and our indoor trainers. We know that we are most likely 3 month away from frequent quality outdoor cycling.
On social medias everyone who’s stuck in the icebox (Sweden this time of the year) are posting pictures of their self-inflicted misery. I dont know how many hundred photos of people on trainers I have seen over the past 2 months – my eyes hurt.
Running is not much better as we use uncomfortable spike shoes that feel like ski-boots or run on the indoor treadmill like a hamster in a wheel.
But to all of you who think it cant get any worse – I bring words of hope, words of comfort! Its all comparatively! Depending on what you compare with you can decide that you are either miserable or really fortunate.
If you compare with the pros, you will most likely feel the kind of envy that only the Grinch who stole Christmas can feel – you will stand on your mountain of pain and look at them pros riding in the sun, swim in outdoor pools and run on perfect trails in Stellenbosch. Week after week they can train and not have to worry about a thing (except the fact that they one day will be a grumpy 50 year old grinch as well). But they dont worry about that – yet!
But if you compare yourself with the average sedentary Joe Schmoe, you are a hero. To even get on a trainer after work takes determination. To get out on your +25km run in <10° bellow zero takes guts. Not to mention the glory you feel when you bring out the good old chainsaw and cut up your 50m lane in the icy lake to get your 4,000 meters swim done as the pool was closed (or is that something only I do?).
You can also compare yourself to the less fortunate athletes who are injured and cant train, the ones who have lost their motivation and can’t find it among the mountains of excuses. Or the athletes that are trying to train, while being forced to live like our great grandparents did 100 years ago – yes, that would be me – they are still not finished with the re-plumbing of our apartment building.
Enjoy what you have – even if the hours available to train are too few and you have to do them on the indoor torture station. Once spring is here you will realize that the indoor trainer is actually a really effective tool to get fast and strong.
PS: When I wrote this a few weeks ago and read it, I got so fed up with the re-plumbing and lack of biking outdoors that I flew to Gran Canaria and got 10 days in the hills together with the TriMaster. As my son says YOLO.
Start of the beautiful climb to Soria
I have to say that having the discipline to spend close to 10 hours/week on the trainer in January really paid off and I felt stronger in the hills than I have ever done before, guess that discipline is not something you loose with age but rather the opposite. Don’t give up!
Cazadores @ 1,300meters – a good 100km 2,500m elevation ride to start the camp with.
Gran Canaria is spectacular with regards to biking and I found that it has much more interesting cycling than the other Canary islands like Lanzarote and Fuerteventura – perhaps that is why Thomas Hellriegel likes to train in GC. In a few years it will be as popular as Mallorca, I am sure, at least for those of us who love climbing.
Road up to Soria @ 650meters – continues to Bartolome @ 1,100meters
Close to Agaete on the North west side of the island.
Climb to St. Lucia
Hope that you appreciate the beautiful nature on the pictures as much as I do – I find that we have all seen enough selfies and ”ass on bike/trainer shots” for a lifetime so I am not sharing those here 😉