During the past few weeks, what was a regimented workout schedule, took a beating with work travels to three different sites. The latest and last brought me to Maui, HI. Not to fear, have bike, will travel. It made sense to take the time to pack my bike and bring it along as a means to get around, to and from work; a half hour ride each way. Having placed a new wheel set on an older bike, I was eager to experience the performance enhancements and was not disappointed. However, the experience humbled me in more ways than one.
In order to pack a bike, one must remove the handle bars, seat and seat post, front wheel and pedals. The whole lot gets tie strapped to ensure it all travels as one with no parts rubbing on any part of the frame or surrounding parts. This was done to a tee and boxed accordingly the night prior to departure. The seat, seat post and pedals were bagged and placed by the door…where they still remain.
Suffice to say, arriving here in Maui and opening my bike box left a lot to be desired once I realized what was left behind. I disheartenedly assembled the bike and stood back to look at its awkwardness. If Merriam-Webster had a listing for ‘dumbass’ I’d be the accompanying picture – and no, there is no active definition for the word ;). But all was not lost. I thought about ‘flintstoning’ it and making like Fred and peddling the bike with my feet in order to get to the bottom of the hill where the boys at Maui Cyclery http://www.gocyclingmaui.com/ would take care of me.
Thanks to Donnie and his staff, $150 later and a rag to wipe the egg from my face, I was back in action.
Today I woke to rain…lots of it. I figured in keeping with my training motto of getting ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable’ I had to grin and bear it. However, to start work at 6am meant an earlier rise which meant biking before the sun came up. The back streets of Paia are dark and I had no lights or reflectors of any kind. I stepped outside, clipped in one foot, threw my hood over my helmet and just sat. There is something profound about looking at a situation and just tossing out any notion that its going to be difficult or miserable. Allowing oneself to overcome ones own inhibitions and skepticism is remarkable but not easily attained.
I listened to the rain. My hood reminded me of a metal roof as you could almost hear each distinct drop as they careened from the heavens. They each streamed across the thin goretex and welded seams to then suspend themselves from my jackets waist seam before gravity deposited them on the ground. With a push of my right foot I was off. New pedals meant new cleats and adjusting to blindly clipping in took a little getting use to. I wobbled my first few yards before settling into the descent into Paia and then the flats of the Hana Highway as I made my way to the airport.
After a long work day the lure of the ocean was too much to resist. I ditched my bike on a stump on the shore…
…dropped my work clothes in a dash before throwing on a set of board shorts. It took all of a couple long strides to propel myself into the mercy of the Pacific. The surf this time of year and this week in particular is strong. Waves came high and heavy in their usual sets and I made like a cork and just bobbed with them. Few things provide the sense of freedom like swimming in the ocean does. Feeling your body sway with the pull of a receding wave to only then be pushed by a flooding wave. Of course serenity and tranquility come with reality. How this played out for yours truly was while talking to local surfers whilst on the water, I made the cardinal mistake of turning my back to the ocean. Let’s just say I can’t do a cart wheel on dry land to save my life, but evidently mastered it on the water today.
So perhaps the training has lost some formality this week outside of the body weight exercises that are easily done in my room; squats, lunges, push ups and sit ups. Better still, is that diet has been easy to monitor and keep clean given the abundance of fresh ingredients here if you don’t cave to the fast and easy options. Most daytime meals have consisted of flax wraps with raw ahi tuna poke, washed down with ice cold coconut water and followed with two sweet mandarins. (Thank you Costco…you and your Tuna Bar are my vice for the next several days.) However, I had the pleasure of eating at Sushi Paradise last night in Kihei and was treated to hands down, the best sushi of my life. Flavor profiles that are indescribable.
I ended my evening looking at the ocean. Listening to it, watching it and thinking. I thought of Roz Savage as she crossed these very waters of the Pacific solo several years back; what she saw, felt and heard. I pondered about the great Captain James Cook who was the first to see Maui in the 1700’s and how he interpreted the very sights that on some levels remain the same today as they were even back then. And more so, I think about what inspiration these random individuals drew from their musings and life happenings to move them through their own endeavors? It brings me to the realization that there is genuine truth to the cliche that life truly is not a destination but ultimately a journey.