I wrote this some time ago.
A routine is a way of stilling time. It is its own spreadsheet, and in it lives progress.
Every Saturday I show up and I clip in, and I do my best. Results, as they do, vary. But the routine provides a way of developing a body of work, even without Strava, even without a computer, the steady pedal stroke, week-on-week, ride after ride, the miles piling up.
The Euro PRO says the sensations are good, and this is what that means.
It means that within my routine there is stability and structure, a way of measuring how I am doing physically, mentally, and possibly also spiritually. Time can really do your head in, the way it warps and wefts.
I love the measurable progress that lives in routine, where we ride on Saturdays, and other days too, and I get a sense for where I am, whether I can push on or have to back off.
When I miss those days, I lose the sense of where I am.
But it doesn’t matter, because things don’t really matter. Especially if they’re in the past. There is no Tipp-Ex, for lived experience.
Outside the routine, or when the routine gets broken, time slips away. It tumbles and capers. It talks behind your back. Insecurity creeps in. Shame. These things also don’t matter, because they are not real.
Maybe there is only a long game. In the routine or out, nothing much matters except as it accrues. When you are on the paceline to chase down Type 2 fun, there is only really the something later, right? A weird judo flip of time and pleasure.
Someone smart told me, “If we don’t go fast now, there is always the next time, or the time after.” That, I’d imagine, is what actionable data sound like.