James Durand

James Durand

Don’t become ‘that guy’

It's six weeks into the new year. I'm sure many of you, like me, have already lost sight of your resolutions, and for good reason.

It’s six weeks into the new year. I’m sure many of you, like me, have already lost sight of your resolutions, and for good reason.

It was raining and windy in early January and now February has been freezing cold. It’s tough to stay motivated when you have to constantly fight the elements.

For the last year, I have felt kind of beat up. Without a basic level of fitness my body hurts and I don’t have as much flow on my bike, so this is the year I want to regain some fitness. I didn’t set any hard goals or resolutions, other than riding more and getting fitter.

I was lucky enough to get lots of warm and sunny rides in while I was on vacation and it was a great start to the year, but now that I’m back, it’s been hard overcoming the reality of cold, or wet weather every ride. I’m trying to maintain a steady schedule, but a nice warm house can be hard to give up on a cold, wet morning.

Last week a buddy dropped in to tell me how great his one and only ride this year was, and that he’s looking forward to riding lots more. Another friend came in a few days later with a similar story, his first ride of 2019 was Feb. 3 and he hoped to get out again a lot more going forward.

These guys are both avid riders, but they have kids, jobs, wives etc. It’s hard to make riding a priority, especially in winter. I’m stoked to see them both trying to bump mountain biking up the list. Not all is lost.

Then I invited an old friend to join me in Whistler this summer for a bunch of riding. He responded with a lame excuse that he doesn’t ride much these days and won’t be able to keep up, so he won’t bother trying anymore.

He sounded defeated, and sad. This is a guy that moved across the country for better riding. We raced, road tripped, and tackled some major adventures together, all for the love of mountain biking.

Now he has pretty much hung up his bike and given up the dream.

I know deep down he will regret it (or already does) but I guess if his motivation is gone, it’s gone, and this scares the hell out of me. Can this happen to me?

Will I just give up someday because I’m too busy? Will I forget how awesome riding can be as I sit on the couch?

Maybe it doesn’t take much to lose it.

A few busy weeks, some bad weather, a few lame excuses, and before you know it, you’re just an old soul.

You find yourself dreaming about “back in the day,” but your bike hasn’t moved out of the garage in years.

For me, the fear of becoming my friend is great motivation. I don’t ever want to give up on fun. So, cold, wet, windy … bring it on, I’m riding anyway, and once I’m out the door and having fun, I forget about the elements. When the weather improves, I’ll have even more fun.

And someday way off in the future when I get invited for a trip of a lifetime, I won’t need any excuses. I won’t feel defeated or sad, I’ll just say YES, whether I can keep up or not.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…

Campbell River Mirror