In 2010 I started cycling in earnest. Last December, when I got a bike fitting consultation, Piaw suggested that I advise Terry Shaw that I just wanted to be able to ride from the south bay to the coast and back in a day (depending on how you do it, this is about 70 miles and 7,000 feet of climb— but under any scenario, far, far longer than any ride I had done up to that time). To which my reaction was, Ha ha, very funny, but OK, that's what I'll say. By April— four months later— I had done exactly that. In June I finished the Sequoia Century and set off for a cycle tour of the Alps, which was the most incredible trip I've gone on in years. Now, I've logged about 2,700 miles and 150,000' of climb for the year, up from last year by at least a factor of 10, I estimate. Between that and changing my diet a bit I feel substantially healthier. (It's hard to know which is primarily responsible, as I did not conduct a controlled experiment. Shame on me.)
In just a few months of not even particularly regimented training, I worked up from having never really demonstrated any respectable amount of physical endurance in my entire life, to doing a number of things that were previously, for me, in Ha ha, very funny territory. Now, it's not like I have any unusual amount of willpower. It wasn't a New Year's resolution that got me off my butt, but rather me deciding that I wanted to go back and see Rosenlaui again. And I don't think I would have gotten there if I didn't also happen to think cycling was so damned exhilirating, or if I didn't have a bunch of friends who kept going with me on all these rides.
I guess the lesson is that if you are choosing your New Year's resolutions now, or trying to make any sort of change in your life, you have to plan for the fact that you will need more than sheer willpower to succeed.
I slogged through some parts of 2010, but I also got to do a lot of fun and awesome things this year. Happy New Year, and best wishes to all for a wonderful 2011.