Do you know how much I didn’t want to ride today, Jan. 24, 2021, a.k.a. “The Dead of Winter”?

The temperature was 34 degrees when I started. It was 33 when I finished. It felt like below freezing with the wind chill.

As my beloved grandma would’ve said, it was quite nippy out there.

I also got up early to drive my wife to work. Real early. So add that sort of foggy feeling you get when you don’t get enough sleep on top of the cold.

My basement Zwift setup was singing to me the siren song of warmth and fan-controllable wind. It would have been so easy.

To Ride or Not To Ride

So why did I go outside to torture myself? Mainly because it’s been about a month since I’ve been out. I like sun on my face – even if it’s just the tiny bit exposed around my balaclava. Being outside is quite simply better than being inside, if you can manage it. The fields, woods, and farms of Carroll County, Maryland, where I live, are beautiful, even in winter.

The real reason, however, is that I’m a masochistic idiot. So I got out and rode. Not a long ride, but satisfying. It was satisfying mainly, and strangely, because I didn’t want to go. I forced myself to be cold instead of staying warm, to do it the hard way.

It felt good, too. Despite the cold, the 75 clothing items (OK, it only felt like 75 items), and my lack of sleep, I went out.

And sure, I didn’t clean out the Augean Stables, Hercules-style. I didn’t cure cancer. I didn’t start a colony on Mars. It was no big deal—really.

Make the Right Small Choices

But life, for the most part, is built on a succession of small choices. There’s often an easy choice and a hard choice. I tend the naturally gravitate toward the easy one. Probably my lazy nature.

Today I took the hard one. And it felt good.