It’s also time for a change. Much as I like the cycling around here, it gets boring to keep repeating the same few rides.
It’s a sad fact about human experience that we adapt to things that once gave us great pleasure.
Hedonic adaptation: The new job that once excited us becomes boring and we want another job. The new car we drooled over becomes just another car and we are excited about the next, better, car.
The woman we enjoyed so much becomes less exciting and we want to experience the thrill of pursuit again – whoops, strike that.
Hedonic adaptation is evolution’s way of keeping us striving, keeping us alive and competing for the best genes to mate with. But it’s not so good for our state of mind.
Tanya and I could have done the Buddhist thing and learned how to let go of craving but that’s tough. Easier is to just leave town, get on the road, seek out new towns and new bike rides, cycle the less traveled (by us) roads.
The stumbling block, the one that caused us to previously cancel all our summer plans, was that my shins still hurt. But I felt hope when I heard the words of my physical therapist. He told me that he thinks my shins are no longer injured, but are in a highly reactive state called Central Sensitization – “a persistent, or regulated, state of reactivity subsequently comes to maintain pain even after the initial injury might have healed.”
I decided to believe him since that I like the possibilities his answer gives. I started riding again after 5 months of no cycling or hiking. I rode the flats for about 3 weeks, then rode 7 miles up Mt Lemmon. My shins still hurt, but no differently than they did a few months ago.
So we decided to go on the road again. Not only will it be stimulating to be in different places, see old friends, do bike rides we’ve never done before, but the anticipation is fun and the preparation absorbs us. Hedonic adaptation be damned.
Life is good.
Links and Other Clicks
Over time I will be updating a page about our cycling travels.
An explanation of Central Sensitization.
Here’s a wonderful, witty talk about pain by Lorimer Moseley.