Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Competition

I remembered what I was really going to post about competition the last time I posted, and thought that it would make for a better post than the drizzle that came out last week.

I was riding into work like I do every morning and I wasn't in a particular hurry. I was just meandering along. I wasn't trying to go slow, but I also wasn't trying to go fast. Anyway, I got caught by an old guy who was also riding his bike into town. I don't especially care that I got caught, or even that I got caught by an older overweight guy. I wasn't racing and even if he did beat me in a race, my self-worth isn't completely dependent on my performance on a bicycle.

He passed me just before we turned on to University Ave., which is a fairly big street in Provo. Just a couple hundred yards after the turn there's an overpass that involves a really short climb and subsequent descent. After he passed me, I sort of decided to let him go because I find that there's nothing more annoying than passing someone and then have them accelerate to demonstrate that they aren't really that slow.

I was that annoying guy, but I really didn't do it on purpose. You see, he down shifted on the way up this little hill and I was in the only gear that I have, so I had to maintain my cadence in order to make it over the hill. The old guy laughed at me as I passed him. As he should have.

I waited for him on the other side of the hill because I still didn't want to be 'that guy' who races off to demonstrate his cycling superiority, when in reality it doesn't matter. He caught me at the first light and we rode together for a mile or two. I asked him where he was going because I think that it's a good conversation started to start talking about jobs and what you do, etc. He was going to North Provo, I was going to central Provo. One point for old guy, zero points for Sans; old guy had a further distance to travel from where we were at that moment.

I then asked what he did up in North Provo in an attempt to get the topic away from the competition. He's a social worker, but he wanted to compete. He came back with the next obvious question: Where are you coming from? Sans: Spanish Fork; Old guy: Payson. Two points for old guy, Payson is further away than Spanish Fork. Actually that's three points for the old guy because he also beat me in the 'race' that I didn't know I was participating in.

Did I score any points? I don't think I did in his book, but I want to say that I stopped for the stoplights that he ran. I consider that a point for obeying traffic laws, although it doesn't make me faster.

Why does everything have to be a competition? Why couldn't I have a simple conversation with this guy about social work and the people that he helps instead of having to compete over who rides further and faster and whatnot?

OK, last comment on politics for a bit. I mentioned last time that I liked Obama for the reason the McCain camp is saying he's no good... Lack of experience. One of my biggest concerns for Obama was something that Bill Clinton tried to place as one of his strengths. He compared Obamo to JFK and himself (Clinton) as being young and relatively inexperienced. While I'm not old enough to really know tons about JFK's foreign policy and such, I believe he did a good job with it. Clinton, on the other hand, I would argue was one of the leading reasons that the US invaded Iraq. I know that it is Bush's war and he's the one that made all of the bad decisions, but he also took over office after 8 years of Clinton's inaction against a growing threat (if they were, in fact, a threat). Is Obama going to be 4 more years of inaction? While I don't think the war in Iraq is good, I also don't think that inaction is good. Appropriate action is good and I don't think that is what Clinton provided and I hope that Obama would take a different path. Did you notice how I made the paragraph on politics really long and rambling? That was in hopes of you not reading it, but I did want to write it.

1 comment:

Emily A. W. said...

Haw HAw! You may have rambled but I still read the political stuff. I'm interested to hear what you have to say about Palin.

I like your story about the bike ride. You compete because its a mans thing to do. Isn't it?

So, I need your help. I want to start an exercise routine and getting your help to maximize my benefits with what little time I have would be greatly appreciated.

I am hoping you can help me with the weight lifting/load bearing exercises. I want to work out at home 3 times a week to gain strength.

Can you post a blog about a good routine to do at home with free weights or canned goods that will help me gain muscle? How many reps are ideal...what exercises work various muscles in the body...etc.. I am hoping you can provide me with a whole body routine.

If you would do that, I would love it! I figure I can get in some exercise at home with the baby playing next to me and do the cardio outside the apartment whenever I have time. Are you up to the challenge? I am! I'm tired of this baby weight/fat!