I am just passing the ten-day mark in a new phase of training. My purpose centers on regaining my stamina. My intent is to be slow, methodical. There are many reasons for me to find encouragement. Frequency and duration results are on target. I have cycled five days out of seven for thirty to forty minutes. The intensity is on plan. My routes include hill work, periods of recovery, and cruising. Everything is as I planned.
Well, it almost is.
I did not anticipate the intensity of the arriving Southern California summer. The heat and dryness are taking their toll. I failed to take into account the weakness left over from surgery a few years ago on my left knee. I had no idea how the issue of my balance (lack of) would play out as I rode.
The story that has unfolded so far is filled with lots of good news, yet I sense caution is the operative theme I need to focus on. There are reasons to be alarmed. My tendency is to try to power through my fears. The technique worked when I was younger. I am not sure it worked, but I remember it as working.
The yellow flags are waiving if I care to listen. My face carries the color of too much sun. One of my knees has two soreness stripes. My consumption of water has increased with signs indicating that I am still dehydrated.
I find myself reflecting on an old story. Dramatic news has arrived. Nobody is sure of its authenticity. The flags are raised. “The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges.” (Acts 17.8, 9)
As today dawns, I wonder how far their model can be applied in my training and life. Am I willing to change my plan? Do I listen to the story as it is playing out? Do I want to take a candid, honest look at the facts?