I made it back from Oklahoma safely and logged about 15.5 hours or so while I was there, although my power tap troubles left me with no official data to prove it. You're just gonna have to believe me. By the time it was over, I almost started feeling like a cyclist again.
By the end of the week I even managed to find the motivation to finish Sports Psychology for Cyclists, which turned out to be interesting, once I was in the right frame of mind. I order it several weeks ago, but after slipping into my winter malaise, it was looking like the only cycling-related book I'd be interested in reading would be "Dead F-ing Last", where Sookie Stackhouse travels to the Tour de France to bust a dirty team of cyclists who win by consuming vampire blood, getting beat up and "accidentally" making out with Eric somewhere along the way. (The sad thing is that I came up with this fictional title and plotline in under five minutes.)
Of course, a new year was rung in while I was there. I use passive voice, because I was kind of oblivious at the time, but when I returned to the real world, the blogosphere was full retrospectives and resolutions.
The only resolution I made this year was to take all of the cats to the vet for a check up, since I got a reality check at the cat food display the other day. I realized that Campbell and Sixx are old enough for the senior formula and Mrs. Biggleworth (aka the Furry) will be in one short year. Time to engage in better pet maintenance, so they all have appointments during my training rest days over the next couple of weeks.
Other than that, I'm not really "resolved" in anything specific. Yesterday I started my 7-4 winter work schedule, so I will be able to ride outside in semi-daylight until DST. That should be helpful in my upcoming season. I also came back to the real world resolved to eat better and be nicer, but I've kind of sucked at that so far, due to the stress of being an adult again. So I guess if those were New Year's Resolutions, I would have failed already, but they weren't.
For the last few months, I've been employing the phrase "don't stop believing" (Journey song optional) in a variety of situations. Knowing how quickly "resolve" crumbles, I'm just trying to be a little better for the time being whenever I can. I've come to realize that having something to strive for is more important than actually getting the thing for which I'm striving (Cycling success? I'm not even sure that I'll know if and when I get there.) I feel like I've chosen steep rugged path to follow for no tangible reason and with no idea what's really at the end. So I just do my best to keep taking steps in that direction and believing that it is the right thing for me.
(Okay, that was a little weird, but I think most human motivation is.)
Anyway, I didn't take a lot of pictures with my lobster-gloved hands in Oklahoma, but here's a picture of "Ol' Coaly", a mural of a bull throughing a rodeo clown in the air, which was the key landmark of my 4.5 hour New Year's Day ride.