The offseason is tough. So what should you do?
Honestly, I don’t care. I take pains to tell every athlete I coach that this is YOUR path, not mine.
I have a very specific vision of what it means to be an athlete. To me, it’s a long, mechanical, beautiful, sometimes tortured existence that is all a response to something inside you you may not have even articulated or controlled.
It’s not my job to help you make sense of that. Sometimes we should leave parts of ourselves untroubled by logic, twist wildly, and play out for its own sake, without the shallow satisfaction of twisting it to fit our own designs or someone else’s validation.
It’s OK not to know why you pedal, except that when you do, you feel better somehow.
If you brought me a six-pack of Millers and forced me at gunpoint to say what I think the offseason is for, I’d say it’s for not making sense. I’d say it’s for feeling good but skipping your ride to go blow a beautiful afternoon on a boat instead of your bike. It’s waking up after a bender and deciding to ride into the jaws of an oncoming Fall snowstorm. It’s fasting for 22 hours just to remind yourself what it feels like to actually be hungry just as much as it’s eating an entire pie at the local diner because if you finish it, it’ll be free.
Stop trying to make sense all the time. You’re an animal. You have impulses. All of your life, you bend yourself into a shape to become what you think will make you happy, but something of happiness is found outside those boundaries, at least for a little while.
The work will be waiting for you when you return in a few weeks or months. Until then, stop making sense.