Sometimes you have to have something that's just for you. Wise words, and obviously not my own.
Most thoughts that I have, indeed most thoughts we all have, come from somewhere else, someone else. That doesn't make them any less true, convincing or relevant. Whatever your name is, there will be someone else called that. Google it, you'll see. I've not got that common a name, but there are about 10 of me in the world that I know about. Even if you had a thousand namesakes you are still you.
It's like that with thoughts. You just need to own them and be happy with them. Otherwise you'll turn into an anxious wreck. That's your truth. But don't try and tell me mine.
It's easy to get dragged into other people's versions of what you should or shouldn't be doing. There are a few eternal thought circles which I let turn in my head. Here's one. Should your football team play a system that suits the players you have, or should you pick players that fit into the system you want to play?
Here's another. Should you try and please people or not give a fuck? Which is right and which will make you happy? Please don't write in.
Then there's the endless "too fast for this lot, but too slow for that lot" conundrum. How to do groups when you don't really do groups. That's what makes being a football fan so good. You can stand in a stadium with 60,000 like-minded people, all rooting for the same team. But hate most of them.
So I've been thinking about the west coast. Not the one that everyone knows. And cycling of course, and how I want to approach it. The truth is, I've got sucked into other people's version of what is fun. And it isn't anymore. It's hard to explain without offending people.
I am planning on riding up a few hills in the late Summer. It's going to be hard, and I need to lose a bit of timber in the interim. So I'm doing my best to cut out the crappy food, do my HIIT sessions at the gym, and ride the heavy bikes now to build a bit of leg strength.
I'll also need to maintain my endurance, and ride up even more hills. But I also want it to be fun, social, coffee, chatting, etc. and that, for me means I can't do fast. Well, not the balls-out, testosterone-fuelled, macho stuff the group I ride with is morphing into. Sorry peeps, life too short for that for me.
You go your way, and I'll go mine. All that. I don't need to compete with you, jeez, I've stopped even competing with me. This is not about not being able to cut the mustard on a panel game. Or an elitist prank. Each to their own I say. But sometimes, you just have to find something that's just for you.
So should I do more riding on my own?
Probably not. Just ride some bumpy Audax, some hilly commutes and some social rides with like-minded people. It would be good to have you along if you fancy that kind of thing. Sometimes it will be the people, sometimes the system.
Like I say, sometimes you need something that's just for you.