Turning 40 is nothing, a harmless milestone, that’s just an excuse to catch up with old friends, reminisce, get drunk and wake up the next morning with the rest of your life ahead of you, and plenty of time to live your imaginary dreams…not a care in the world…
And in the blink of an eye the years slip by, unbeknownst to yourself your 50….A sense of panic slips over your soul, you count up the days, all of a sudden people talk of retirement, all of a sudden the nest empties, your daughters no longer need you, depend on you (except for the odd lift somewhere) all of a sudden you start looking back, weighing up your life achievements, wondering where along the way, did you lose focus, lose sight of your dreams and ambitions..and most worrying of all, when you look back, you cant remember what were your dreams and ambitions..all those years ago, when you first stepped through those school gates to, to…freedom.
And that’s where your bucket list comes from, things you’d like to do before you die…not even die, before you cant, before old age, real old age catches up on you Before you wake up on a nursing home commode, waiting for the cynical burnt out bastard of a male nurse to come and wipe your arse…….and that’s why I want to cycle…feel the wind, the freedom, the strain on up hills, the view from the top..and oh the free wheel decent…..freedom….
So here I sit, the first week of a new year, on the verge of turning 52, Reflecting on the invisible bucket list, that I’ve been tipping away at since turning 50….things to do in 2013, all bike related..Now since entering my 50s, a veteran of three Wicklow 200’s, the Waterford Adventure Race, under the guise of James Bodels, two Duathlons, and one very unsatisfactory triathlon where I nearly fkin drowned in the shallow end of the pool. Which still leaves a niggling feeling in my gut of unfinished business..
But of all the cycling…Bunclody-Kilarney. Galway-Bunclody- Lahinch-Bunclody. Mizen to Malin Head…..I’ve never struck out on my own, a real solo challenge, lose myself, for days on end, in my own company, Just me the bike and a borrowed Satnav…
So now January 2013, the first page of a four month blog….cycling on empty..
Coming off 2012, a year of loads of nothings…but a kind off successful training plan post my disastrous Triathlon back in July….where did I mention I nearly fkin drowned in the pool and lost all my dignity.
But since then,
Monday, Jog 5k with the odd 8k and the very odd 10k thrown in…but mostly 5k up at the GAA pitch with its new grant assisted running, walking dog shitting track…..
Tuesday, spinning class, no messing heart attack stuff, but absolutely brilliant,
Weds morn swim, 30lenths 750 meters, slow awkward, no method, no rhyme, but a slow slow improvement on breathing technique and stamina,
Thurs, indoor basketball and soccer, with mental health service users, yep I actually work up a sweat, and the quality of play is quiet good, considering some of the lads are on a dose of medication that would bring a bull elephant to his knees…Fri. second swim of the week, surrounded by breast stroking pensioners, who tip along, and stay young…at heart…Saturday, has become rest day, more because my daughter, is presently in her final year of collage and doing a thesis on feeding habits of Whitefronted Geese on the Wexford slobs..and that’s where our Saturdays went…watching 10’000 whitefronts nibble grass.
Sunday is bike day with me auld cycling bud Liam K, for he past number of years we’ve plodded along, shooting the breeze and discussing the meaning of life. And it is on those early morning spins, after a week training, that the legs on a good day, drive you on up over Mount Leinster, and on bad days, short sharp 50k spin with the promise of a 100k next week…or the week after….or definitely the week after that…