TCI Friday

I never really understood the concept of living in the present.

Then, just a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary, my Dad experienced what they called a heart episode. I’ve never really been sure what that means, but the result was his loss of short-term memory.

Oh, he could still remember me as a kid always asking everyone, “You know what?” and telling whatever my latest news was in my infant days as a reporter/writer. But he couldn’t remember what he had for breakfast.

Phone calls home were entertaining. We’d ask if he liked the present we sent for his birthday. He’s say to my mom on the other line, “Jane, did I like their present?”

We did have some good discussions about living in the present, and that what he had for breakfast really didn’t matter, as well as most things that were lost to his lack of short term memory.

I listened and learned. I’ve come to the point where I don’t spend much time in the future or the past — says the dude who just shared a fond memory story …

That manifests itself in my riding decisions. Aside from deciding whether or not to ride in the first place, where I’ll ride, how far and how hard are all options left to be decided in the present.

As I mentioned last time I wrote a TCI Friday, I have about 10 different routes from my home. All begin with the same half mile of riding through the neighborhood, and that’s when I make the first route decisions of what comes next.

Basically each route has decision points. Head home here or venture farther. Again and again and again. It all depends on how I’m feeling. I listen to my body. In the present. And react accordingly.

This week’s question: When do you decide what route you’re going to ride? Do you have a schedule you make out at the beginning of the year? At the start of the week? The night before? Or, do you dwell in the present? And what did you have for breakfast?

Join the conversation
  1. jlaudolff says

    No set schedule but I do have a mental set of routes and destinations I like to get to each year. Some destinations are based on seasons. I.e. some mountain destinations are not reachable certain times of the year or are best visited i.e. during snowmelt (when the creeks are raging they can be awesome to behold). Often I’ll watch the weather mid-week and hit up friends to see who is interested/available for a weekend adventure. Most of the time, when I leave the house, I know where I am going and am not really improvising much from that point.

    1. John Rezell says

      I guess my life has always been improvising

  2. trabri says

    I have no set schedule but when I head out I have a loop (or task) in mind. I usually tweak the route while riding but not enough to turn a short ride into an all day affair (or vice versa). My father has dementia so our conversations are either the distant past or, most of the time, the present or near future.

    1. trabri says

      Oh yea, I had almond butter on cinnamon raisin toast and a banana this morning.

  3. John Rezell says

    Haven’t had breakfast yet but enjoyed a good laugh from that comment. Priceless

  4. Rosé Dave says

    I’m a definite routine guy. I have the same omelet for breakfast. Wednesdays are for MTB riding (racing in spring, riding the Lake Natoma loop other times). Two weeknights I get to the gym. The other two weeknights I ride or handle other parts of life. Saturday is the long ride, but this is the most variable part of the routine as it could be anywhere from two hours to all day, could be road, gravel or MTB and generally the route is pulled from the mental library built up in my head over the years. Sunday is an easy ride generally on the road bike. The routine makes it possible to coordinate riding, family life and work.

    Listening to what I need is the challenge. I’ve spent way more time this year just laying around and getting familiar with the feelings. That has paid off. Yesterday I planned an hour ride. The first mile told me I needed an easier half-hour spin so I made the adjustment. Plus went to bed a half-hour earlier than normal.

    The funny thing is that once I start to believe I have a routine that will last me forever, something will shift, be it my interests, the needs of my family, or my professional responsibilities, and my pattern will change accordingly. It just might take me six months to recognize that I have made a change in my daily life!

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