28 April 2007

Dude, like, that's some serious wind...

Today we went for yet another 60 mile ride as part of my training regime for the STP in July. The ride was great, except that the headwind (and sidewind, at times) on the way back was outrageous. There were actually a couple to times where I had to stop and wait for the wind to die down a bit - just so I didn't get blown over.

Somehow being forced to travel at a slower speed (even though I was outputting all of my umph) gave me more space than usual to think during the ride. I thought about how the air smelled of pending rain (awesome!), how everything seems to be blooming (and we've got pollen to prove it), and how I haven't really had a real, complex thought in about a month. Well, that may not be totally true, but here's my new theory:

Excessive amounts of certain types of exercise stunt your intellectual growth.

Of course, I don't mean that excercise kills brain cells - it probably helps by stimulating blood flow to the brain. What I realized is that when I ride my bike all weekend and am either riding or practicing yoga after work I don't have any time to expand my brain (reading being the most obvious way to do this). I suppose if I didn't have a full time job, I'd have extra time outside of training to read great books and interesting magazines.

Then I thought back to other times when I have excercised a lot, but avoided this feeling of braindeadedness. In Seattle, I rode the bus to and from work. So I had about an hour and 15 minutes of dedicated reading time each day. Add to that the time I spent reading NatGeo, Utne, Mother Jones, etc. on the elliptical machine at the gym and it seems like I really had time to expand my brain - even with all the exercise I got.

This is sort of a recurring theme for me. I really enjoy the feeling you get after a great run or a long bike ride, but, oh, the time it takes...there are so many other things that I like to do besides exercise. How do I fit them all in? I suppose this is a quandry everyone has. Darned time and it's limitations!

So, I've made a pact with myself to spend more time reading. Especially at the table on the weekends with daylight streaming in the windows. Today was a great start and I feel more alive already!



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