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Old 08-28-08, 02:27 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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Don't look back (you can never look back)

Sometimes I bemoan the 20 years I spent on the couch, the 20 years I wasted.
As much as I love putting in the miles, I really miss the miles I could have done had I not decided to be a lard-ass.

Not much I can do about the 20 years lost and, given my family history, maybe the best I can hope for is to add a few extra years on the back end.

But, I was talking to Mrs S the other night and as I was saying "Boy, I wish I could still do now what I could do then", it hit me: I'm doing things, now, in my mid-50's, that I never even TRIED to do then, in my 20's and 30's. So, what have I really lost? Well, plenty to be sure but whether due to higher motivation, making up for lost time, I don't know what all... I am a better, fitter rider now than I ever was before.

No doubt, had I kept on riding, I'd be miles ahead of what I can do now but, without a doubt, I am miles ahead of where I was.

Pretty cool.

Last edited by SaiKaiTai; 08-28-08 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:49 PM   #2
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I can relate and I had a full decade of lard-assitude more than you! Here's to a brighter future for us both.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:03 PM   #3
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Never had Couch Slouch Syndrome but I do want it occasionally as I get older.
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Old 08-28-08, 04:02 PM   #4
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I look at it this way:

Every single experience of my life - both good and bad - was necessary to make me what I am today. I'm generally happy with my life today so I guess that it's all been for the good.
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Old 08-28-08, 04:09 PM   #5
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i'm too busy experiencing now to try to spend time in the past.

the past is gone. the future remains as yet an unrealized potentiality with a high degree of probability of occurence. that leaves only the present in which to live.

be well,

jim
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Old 08-28-08, 06:39 PM   #6
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I got over myself with that regretting yesterday stuff a long time ago. It's good only for self-flagellation--provided, of course, that you've learned any lessons from the experience.

Meanwhile, I'm reminded of the sig line used by someone here for a while. It went,

Quote:
Someday we'll all look back on this, and plow right into a parked car.
Another good reason not to look back.
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Old 08-28-08, 06:49 PM   #7
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I kind of figure that it's useless to fret about what's behind. What's ahead is the only thing important.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:16 PM   #8
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Don't worry about it, just slick your hair back, slap on them Wayfarers, and go ride your bike.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:18 PM   #9
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It amazes me that, even with the bolded emphasis, everyone is picking up the exact opposite of what I'm saying. Good. Great. I'm really glad that none of you regret your pasts. Now, go read my OP again.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:31 PM   #10
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You also said this:
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Sometimes I bemoan the 20 years I spent on the couch.
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Old 08-28-08, 08:29 PM   #11
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hi oldsters...I am new to it all (roadbiking) I am 51 have not ridden a bike in 12yrs! a month ago I made up my mind and got a roadbike and do group rides on weekends, usually 30-35 miles. I am happy that I actually keep up with the middle group! I try to do 3 rides a week but this time of year you must start early, it is so hot in Mesa AZ area. I HATE THAT PART... I am not a morning workout guy, can't wait till weather cools more so I can ride after work. But I still think about that bike in the garage every day and look forward to the group rides (87 showed up last week)...way more fun than alone
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Old 08-28-08, 08:40 PM   #12
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It's all about today and tomorrow, not all that much about yesterday, last week, last year and lost youth. Sure it's made us what we are, but does not control what we will be.
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Old 08-28-08, 11:03 PM   #13
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You also said this:
Context is everything
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Old 08-28-08, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I kind of figure that it's useless to fret about what's behind. What's ahead is the only thing important.
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Coulda, shoulda, woulda -- Fagettaboutit.
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Old 08-29-08, 05:19 AM   #15
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It amazes me that, even with the bolded emphasis, everyone is picking up the exact opposite of what I'm saying. Good. Great. I'm really glad that none of you regret your pasts. Now, go read my OP again.
I do know what you mean. What might have happened if 20 years ago I had access to a full carbon bike and the Internet to spur me on. The TdF? Olympics? Nah.

I thought of you SKT when I went riding with my oldest daughter on Wednesday. She has a Reno. It's a very nice bike. It was the first time she'd ridden it in a year (because of pregnancy).

Honest to goodness, there really is a zen principle lurking here. I have a 30 year med school reunion coming up. Sometimes I can get bummed out by thinking about what might have been, especially vis-a-vis the truly accomplished classmates of mine. Then, because of a very short attention span, I think about something important, like which bike jersey I'm going to wear tomorrow, and I don't worry about it anymore.

The key to happiness is a short attention span.
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Old 08-29-08, 06:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
No doubt, had I kept on riding, I'd be miles ahead of what I can do now.
Definitely don't beat yourself up on that. As someone who has ridden all these years, you might have found that at this point, you just don't care as much. That you ride and you enjoy it, but it's just part of life.

So ironically, you might not have been in quite as good a shape as you are having taken that time off. The time off made you more motivated to ride. If you kept riding you might just take it for granted. No one knows.
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Last edited by Artkansas; 08-29-08 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 08-30-08, 10:03 AM   #17
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I believe regret is a wasted emotion. However it is human nature and we need to put things into perspective to overcome regret. I bet everyone wishes they had done more in the past.

I am 63 and can't ride as far as I used to. I was thinking that the other day while on a ride, then I told myself to just enjoy the fact that I can do as much as I do. In the past 6 years I have cycle toured in Europe 3 times and another 5 tours here in North America. How many people can or have done that? Sure, I wish I had toured more when I was younger, but do I have more tours in me? Yes, I just won't go as far each day. I know it's a cliche, but today is the first day of the rest of my life.
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Old 08-30-08, 09:45 PM   #18
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I believe regret is a wasted emotion.
I agree it can be but it can also be usefull if you turn it around and use it as a motivator. Use your feeilings of regret for things you didn't do to help motivate you to not pass up the opportunities to do them in the future.
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Old 08-30-08, 11:03 PM   #19
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I can relate and I had a full decade of lard-assitude more than you! Here's to a brighter future for us both.
Snort! Lard-assitude! Snort!!
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Old 08-30-08, 11:49 PM   #20
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Here's the other perspective:

I've been racing bikes and training on the bike pretty consistently since I was 21. At that time I quit smoking and bought a bike. I moved to Canada and learned to ride the track and rode on some provincial teams, dropped out of racing for a few years while I did randonneur riding, then returned as a master and started winning races.

So I'm really fit and strong at 57, and people think I'm in my 40's, but because my focus throughout my life had been so much on cycling, I never rose to any lucrative executive position. I always got passed over for promotions, and it took about a dozen applications before I finally landed a management position, from which I was downsized a couple of years later. I guess management could see that I'd rather be out riding than selling my soul to the corporation. I'm living comfortably now (I've got two more mortgage payments and the townhouse is all mine), but once I retire, I'll be receiving far less than I'm making now from working (but enough to ride on).

So it's all a matter of your priorities. Do I regret doing all that riding and not making the big bucks? Well, things might have turned out different, but I think I would have kept riding; it's what I do. I don't think I had a choice, really.

Luis
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Old 08-31-08, 12:15 AM   #21
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57 is the new 45. Therefore you can work another 15 (or so) years to make up for what you didn't earn in earlier years.

But seriously, I like your different perspective on the issue.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:29 AM   #22
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Nice perspective.

I cant really add anything, except that your post exactly reflects my own situation. After years of being off the bike I didnt get really into riding until I was 44. By that time, with 20 years wasted, I wondered why it took me so long.

But you're right, Never look back
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Old 08-31-08, 10:16 AM   #23
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Same here, Sai. And the topper is, younger people I know think that I, with my middle aged paunch and otherwise unprepossessing physique, am some sort of Superman. "Wow! You ride 20 MILES after work!?! I could NEVER do that!!"
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Old 08-31-08, 05:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
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It amazes me that, even with the bolded emphasis, everyone is picking up the exact opposite of what I'm saying. Good. Great. I'm really glad that none of you regret your pasts. Now, go read my OP again.
Hey, Sai, this is, after all, the Fifty + page. We're allowed to be a little obtuse. We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones... ZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZzz!
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