Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A quietly gurgling river

No fitness in this post. None at all. I was resting. And thinking. Which is hard work, when you think about it, especially when you're thinking about the thinking process. That's enough recursiveness for now.

It's a beautiful day out, and instead of riding I took a note book and a chair down to Fish Creek. I found a nice shady spot and scribbled. There's been all sorts of stuff going through my head lately. I got some of it down, and some of it was headings for future scribbling sessions. Like tomorrow, probably.

Fish Creek isn't a big river this time of year. At one point a small class of kids waded upstream, and the water seldom came as high as their knees. I was right beside a bit of a gentle rocky slope. The sound of running water is very soothing. There was enough other sounds, like people talking or the occasional dog barking to keep me awake. What you can't hear is any city noise. The creek runs through a wooded valley (Fish Creek Provincial Park) that is beautiful to walk or ride through any time of year. The west end, very near where I was, is open to the Tsuu T'ina First Nation so it's very common to see wild animals such as coyotes, deer, fox, and occasionally couger, wolves and once a bear was sighted. None of that today.

Writing stuff down is one way of getting it out of my mind so things don't spin around like a load of unbalanced laundry. I get stuff on paper, and I can focus on particular things, and get myself organized. I make notes of things to look up, or think about more, or tasks to do. I can sort out how I feel about various topics, or what the pros or cons of a particular decision might be. Once I'm done writing, my brain is much more relaxed.

One thing was writing down is why I want to do IMC next year. Oddly enough, I've never really thought about it that much. I know I want to do it. People say you need to have a good reason handy to explain to your legs why they need to keep going when the going gets tough. I'm signed up as a finish line volunteer so I'm going to see how people look at the end of IMC; not just as they cross the line triumphant, but 10 minutes later when the pain sinks in. It just occurred to me that the first tri I ever did was a half IM, and the first tri I volunteer at is IMC. That seems a bit unusual based on what I've read in blogs.

I wrote "Semi-Retired" at the top of one page, and started to bring up all the things that phrase brought to mind. On first consideration, I'm very much liking the thought of that status. I never thought I'd work to some age, then retire and play for the rest of my life. My thought was that as long as there was things I liked doing that people were willing to pay me to do, I'd keep doing them part of the time, and play the rest of the time. I am seriously thinking about how much income I need to earn to buy food, pay the utilities and property tax, and have some fun. It turns out to be a surprisingly small number, but I'm still working on it.

One thing a co-worker said to me once that is making a big impact on me these days. "I strive to schedule my work life the way most people schedule their vacations."


  1. Sounds like a very thoughtful day!!

  2. I have a notebook in my purse I carry everywhere. All sorts of stuff goes in that little book. It's good therapy!!
    I always brag that I don't work hard, I work smart...makes for more time off!!

  3. Meditative day you spent...That's a good idea.

  4. i would know an alan quote anywhere! ha sounds like time well spent. i like that, semi-retired. perhaps i will feel that way next year after all the IMC stuff is done. who knows... you've given me good food for thought though.

  5. I tend not to really know what I think about something (in any meaningful sense) until I write it down. In the process, I often surprise myself with what I actually believe because some of it?

    Pretty friggen lunatic.

  6. I think you just need to hang out with people training for ironman during their peak weeks to know 'that' kind of pain/turmoil - the pain of not staying awake past 830, the pain of falling asleep on the toilet and the pain of knowing you're not even 'there' yet. The race is the prize at the end of that long and difficult road. Maybe I didn't race fast enough but it was still elation...even 10 minutes later.

  7. Please high five your coworker for me. That is one of the most awesome things I've ever heard.


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