Something good, something bad

I’ve noticed a pattern. Something good is always either preceded or followed by something bad. It’s like I can’t have one without the other.

Things at work have gotten… umm… stressful. For the first time ever, I’m caught in the middle of a restructure. Plenty have happened around me (it’s a university, we restructure all the time) but this is the first one that has directly affected me. From where I stand, the process hasn’t been handled particularly well. There’s a lot of misunderstanding and defensiveness on both sides now and right now I can’t see how it’s all going to be resolved in a way that makes everyone happy. How we’re all supposed to work together, I have no clue.

I know that I should be worrying only about myself but I can’t help but be really angry at what’s being done to some of my workmates. I’ve worked with these people for over five years now. I see them every day. How can I not be concerned about what’s going to happen to them? Unlike them, I have the (dubious) fortune having a position to move to. I know I should be happy to have this certainty. However, I can’t help but have some doubts about what it’ll be like to work in the new group. The position description for the job I’ll be slotted into is vague at best and I’m not sure I want to be a “Content Analyst”.

Still, the daily work stuff continues as it always has and there’s a strong sense of solidarity in the team now. That’s one good thing to come out of the whole sorry situation.

All I can do is wait and see. The situation is out of my hands, I can’t change it.

It’s funny… I had a terrible week at work and spent a lot of time wanting to punch someone in the face but get me out on my bike and it just doesn’t matter. The stress just falls away. The weather on Saturday was – in a word – crappy. But it didn’t matter. I was with people I like, who make me laugh and I was doing something I love. Work is just work, it’s a means to end so I can do the things I actually want to do – like get totally filthy and saturated. Then sit around in damp bike kit, drinking cider at Little Creatures Dining Hall while my companions had a pint.

Sunday was another go-round of the Emerald Bakery Loop. The something bad of this was the stretch between Emerald and Kallista. I have no idea what happened but I was really suffering. I dropped further and further behind, I was gasping for breath and my legs felt like they were about to fall off. It was so incredibly hard and I still don’t know how I managed to get up the really tough section (3kms at about 7 – 9%). I felt sick and exhausted but somehow I did it. I wonder if the climbing is ever going to get easier or if it’ll always be this hard for me. Something good was that I had someone drop behind to stay with me for most of it so I had a wheel to follow.

Still, I had a ball flying down The Wall. When I hit 70km/h I figured I should probably slow down a bit as I was overtaking quite a few people, riders who had been 3 – 5 minutes ahead of me. Got to one corner and all I could smell was burning brake pads from the person who had gone through previously. Every time I get to the bottom of a descent like this I always have the biggest smile on my face. It’s an awesome feeling.

The descent down to Montrose was amazing as always. I don’t think I braked once and I managed to pick and stay on some excellent lines through the corners. I love it, just love it. Thinking about it now is making me smile. There’s nothing like the sensation of speed and the world flying past in a green blur. All those tiny movements you make on the bike which make it lean and shift with you. The bike feels like it’s a part of you, that it’s alive. It’s joy, pure and simple.

Something bad (work) countered by something good (bike and an unexpected development in my private life). The universe likes balance so I suppose this is the way it’ll always be.

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