I’d like to moan this morning about the Menopause, if I may.


I’d like a DECENT NIGHT’S sleep, please.

I am either far too hot or enormously cold at present, and if those hot spells correspond with me being in bed? I just can’t get comfortable. Most nights this is work-aroundable, but as currently, I have a back issue I’d like to heal, some quality kip would be quite beneficial. Except NOPE you can’t have that. Also, the means by which I make myself sleep in situations like this has begun making me hotter and has therefore ceased to be beneficial, which just makes things worse. Mostly, I’d just like this to stop.


All the Sugar or NONE AT ALL.

Being healthy is becoming REALLY tough when all my body is doing currently is holding water and encouraging me to eat all the sugary shit, ALL THE DAMN TIME. It’s like that point in my menstruation cycle (back in the glorious days WHEN I HAD ONE) when body would point out that if I didn’t eat that bar of chocolate in the fridge, people would get hurt. Nobody ever did of course, because that was why the chocolate was there in the first place. Now, I’d like this to stop too because I don’t want to eat any of this at all.



I know this is a hugely self-indulgent, self-centred rant. BUT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE I have had enough of this, and it could be going on for YEARS yet.

Please, just make it stop.

Closing Time

Putting on my leggings this morning, I had a back spasm. I know a guy who had weeks of painful repercussion simply from picking up his daughter, another who turned his head suddenly and slipped a neck disk. Sometimes, however careful you are, this shit just happens. I’ve ingested the standard painkillers, will take it easy and won’t do anything strenuous until Wednesday’s PT session. Not only does this shit happen, but I am well versed with the means by which you deal with it. Lying around all day complaining is not an answer, though it might be a wish for some. For me, there is really too much to do. It really doesn’t matter we’re in half term either.

My career is not going to progress itself.


This morning I dropped my old car off for the last MOT I will have to pay for, as it is now consigned to the chronology of vehicles I used to own. It will still be driven for a while yet, however, but a replacement is ordered. It’s smaller and petrol, and I suspect might be the last fossil-fueled vehicle I ever possess. After that, it will be a tricycle or my feet, and that will be totally fine. My son has already professed a complete lack of desire to learn to drive, stating there are far more important things he ought to be doing. Public transport suits him fine, and I have a measure of empathy with this statement. I’d love to call time on this county’s obsession with cars as transport. Maybe my son could be the first step.


I’ve also got half a mind to start taking pictures every day from now on, just as a means to give my brain summat to relax with. The weekend was enormously stressful, and I would venture to suggest a lot of my body woes are wrapped around the trauma that created. Therefore having something to do other than working at a PC or a bike will be hugely beneficial long term. I ought to do yoga too, but that’s not really a half term pursuit. For now, the daily walk will get some air in my lungs, wake up the brain and give more content.

After that, we can busk the rest.


I watched this video yesterday on my phone. I NEVER watch anything that way, but yesterday I did. The phrase ‘How Bad Do You Want It’ has been rolling around my head ever since. A random search turned up the following video, and once I’d watched this a door opened in my head that was previously jammed shut.

This video was made in 2011. I have no backstory or information about the Seattle Seahawks player or the preacher, but it is largely irrelevant who I’m watching. There’s a procession of these inspirational tirades online (because that’s what they are) which will all claim to be the answer to finding success. However, this one has stuck, probably because of the reference to asthma. Do I want to breathe as much as I want to succeed with everything I do? No, I need to be able to do both. There must be air and space, ability and capability. This is why those ridiculous ‘get fucking buff in 30 days with 6 CD’s’ are no use to me. I require teaching, and then there needs to be personal dedication.

I’m sure as fuck not staying awake for three nights or forgetting to eat to get there.

I do now, however, grasp the importance of pushing myself through fatigue to get the job done. This does not mean listening to my body or being ridiculous with how much time I spend working on physical fitness… goals need to be reached, and planning not overlooked. My real focus is not how bad do I want it, but how well can I do it. It isn’t just me I have to consider in all of this either: I have a family and commitments that cannot simply be dropped to attain what is wished. Balance is the key, and as of right now there is the belief that this is the right path, and that the strength required to make it happen really does exist.

Last night, my daughter hugged me and pronounced I am thinner than was previously the case. Yesterday, someone unexpectedly called me kind in public. They are all small moments of perfection, tiny victories that are celebrated far more than my ability to lift a weight or complete a session on the bike. Except, this morning, lifting was better. I felt stronger. Last night, despite really not wanting to cycle, I did my 30km and not only beat my time for the same distance from the previous night, but I came close to being the overall Ladies Sprint jersey holder for what would have been the second time this week. Now I understand that they all count. Progress anywhere is still progress.


I am getting not only physically, but mentally stronger. The events of this week tell me that, without the need for reinforcement by anyone except me. If you ask me how badly I want it? I’ve started cutting out even more bad food. I’m snacking at new levels of healthiness, and my food logging is becoming pretty well regimented. I worked so hard this morning my arms will ache tomorrow, and my legs too if I push for extra miles on the bike.

Yeah, I want it badly enough now to make it happen.

New Life

There’s been an standing joke running between myself and Mr Alt since I started using Zwift for exercise: I don’t do more than an hour at a time. As soon as the clock ticks over to 01:00:00 I stop and that’s me done. I knew the reasons behind this were sound, and last night science decided to show him with FACTS. My body is nowhere near as strong or capable as his is, and I genuinely struggle with endurance. On what I know about myself I’d expected to last about ninety minutes before legs stopped working. In the end, I made it to one hour and forty minutes before the bottom half of my body gave the finger and simply ceased to function.


The first hour included pacing, not pushing 100% (as I normally do.) It did not matter one iota that I went up hills, because I’ve been training in fixed gear pretty much 90% of the time and the trainer I used down not automatically adjust when there’s a gradient. Resistance is my concern as a result and was only really used as way to give arse a rest from over an hour sitting down. The problem, on reflection, was that I never had anywhere to recover. Active recovery is a concept my trainer has taught me, the means by which you don’t stop after a burst of intense exercise. Having Mr Alt next to me who just pedalled through everything made me push, far more than was normally the case.

It is probably time I stopped training alone, and (more importantly) I don’t automatically assume that because I had to stop it was a failure.

These stats were a revelation, especially when Mr Alt showed me his for the same ride. He spent the entire ride in Zone 1 and 2, not really breaking a sweat, based on his own FTP (which is clearly considerably higher than mine due to his time cycling.) For me, there was no recovery time at all, hence why I finally had to stop dead. The next step in my journey is to work out how I can take the pain out of longer rides, and increase endurance/stamina. My goal of 110 miles a week is now complete: I’ll consider whether today is a rest day or not a bit later on, once I’ve got my prep work for the next seven days organised.

Once upon a time I would have gotten very nervous about using stats like this to rate my performance. Now I realise that there’s a mental disparity between ability and performance that needs to be both considered and addressed.

Can’t Do

I am aware sometimes my demeanour might seem quite angry and intractable. Neither of those things is true. I am passionate, and principled. Both these things are in short supply in the modern world, and the more that happens around me gives strength to the belief that this is the right path to be travelling. I’ve lost count of the number of individuals who’ll consider this arrogance, or insouciance. It is convenient to try and use those terms as means to start an argument, except to do so requires two people involved.

I’ve stopped taking the bait.

Occasionally you’ll see someone innocently say something that is a window into their true character, the one away from Social media. Nobody’s perfect, after all, we all have our moments of WTF were you thinking by saying that. I now spend more time thinking about what I say in the Real World, far more than was ever the case in my youth. There comes the realisation too that my family had a significant effect on what was considered acceptable behaviour, and their belief that certain mindsets and attitudes were simply wrong and not spoken about is partly why I was a fucking mess for a while. Sorting through the detritus of my past, comes the understanding that nurture can be very damaging if your personality via nature is at odds with the people who birth you.

Evolution creates variance. The constant reproduction of people will highlight issues in one generation that did not exist in another, or when combined with the DNA of a different strand of human being. Every so often there’s a ‘black sheep’ in your family of white, middle class humanity. The troublemaker. The gay kid. The autistic boy or the bisexual girl… it doesn’t matter, these things happen in households where those things are not understood, or frightening. Nature produces a variance and it is up to nurture to deal with the consequences. If you’re lucky, you get a great family who cares and your variance becomes part of a bigger whole. If you aren’t, you’re not on your own, but it is a fucking horrible task to survive. Many people give up.

It shouldn’t be like that, especially when variance could hold the key to Humanity’s future.


The key, of course, is not getting angry. Learning to take bad emotions away and focus only on positive can be the most difficult of asks, too, and when you become passionate it is amazing how many people simply mistake this as anger, because on a basic level they share so many of the same characteristics. It is the subtlety lost on Social media which makes such a task virtually impossible. That then means as an individual, every interaction has the potential to be misinterpreted if the person at the other end of the conversation is unable to judge your sincerity. With friends, people you’ve interacted with over time, it is easier. With total strangers however? You know what’s coming.

If you don’t bother to do the work, you’ll get nothing out of the process.


It is why I cherish so much the people who will come out and state they didn’t like me when we first ‘met’ virtually, but now understand it was worth the effort to become friends. It isn’t just me in these situations: two of you need to work at the process, and if you don’t want to embrace variance, it will never happen. That also means that the two ‘friends’ I have on Facebook are as important as those on Twitter, but I won’t ever start adding any more on a platform that does not embrace anything other than what it considers to be ‘right’ and ‘fair’ across the widest possible spectrum. Keeping ‘everybody’ happy undoubtedly means a set of rules that ignore variance unless it becomes societally acceptable. I do not want to share my life with certain people because of this, and this is never going to change.

I wonder, is that my own intractability causing an issue…?

Warm Sound

I have an infection. It is quite possibly viral, sitting in throat and lymph nodes. I am often guilty of overthinking illness, and in previous years would have dismissed all forms of exercise until I knew things were ‘better.’ Yesterday, I did a session of PT and the most productive hour on a bike I can remember since I started using Zwift.

Exercise is now becoming relaxation: once upon a time, I would have slept through yesterday. Now, I’ll freely admit this is will what will happen (but only for a while) after I’ve finished writing here today. I needed yesterday as proof that I am physically in a better place than was previously the case. Having proved this to myself I can relax. All of this is, I now realise, as much a test of stamina and endurance as anything else. The numbers exist as evidence to other people that I’m doing the work. After that, the only person I’m really doing all this shit for is myself.


I’m also finding drawing my three panel cartoon surprisingly fruitful. There’s a plan in place for the first month or so, leading up to February 1st which is Time to Talk day. I’m planning to spend some time visualising what Depression looks like to me. This is a fairly ambitious plan for someone with no real skills (as yet) in that department but aiming big’s worked in the past. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?

If I need to be reminded how much has changed since this time last year, I’m currently on a three week uninterrupted exercise streak. It won’t be the end of the World either if that finishes today. Life now is about understanding that even with obstacles to health, you can remain so with enough enthusiasm.

There is certainly motivation to spare at present.

Silent Night

I know I said I’d be along sooner, but there is a reason.

My planner, normally chocablock, has been bereft of anything since Tuesday, which was when I finally sent out my final piece of Patreon content to users. After that, I realise, things needed to stop. I have run myself both to mental and physical standstill this week, which culminated in a 7.30 am Hospital trip yesterday with my youngest, and who is now going to live the rest of his life carrying an EpiPen. As the Specialist stated (mostly I suspect for my reassurance) sometimes you can do nothing about these things in childhood, they just happen. That’s a metaphor for the Patreon thing too, I now realise. It would have been easy to just ignore all the grand plans and simply go back to the way things were.

Sometimes however, the unknown is your best way forward.


I know how stressed I’d been last night on the bike, and can feel the tension in neck and shoulders this morning, slowly melting away. Months of stress over performance and parental responsibility won’t vanish, but it will ease. It is helping me push through lack of energy (legs hurt this morning, that means progress) and will, undoubtedly, keep me keen as I go into the Christmas period. There is no intention to stop, even with provision for a ride on Christmas Day in the ManShed. This whole exercise thing has become the foundation on which everything else will be based, and it is glorious.


For now, therefore, I’m gonna make some toast, write some blog posts and then muck around for a bit before I go do my last Gym session before Christmas.

The future, undoubtedly, is looking fitter.