Early Notes

Notes and Observations

One of the first things I noticed after I cleared out our apartment is how amazing it was to have fewer things in my home; so much easier to focus. In the living room, I just had a couple chairs and some of things to bring on my trip. I woke up the morning after clearing out most of the things from our apartment, and I knew I had a chore ahead of me: move the intercom system from my old helmet to my new helmet. There was nothing else to do – nothing to fuss with, no couch to melt into, no coffee table with the box from yesterday’s Amazon shipment on it to bring to the trash, no Chromecast hooked up to a TV for me to watch a YouTube video tailored perfectly to my interests and auto-play the day away with, watching one fascinating video after another.

It made it remarkably easy to finish the task at hand.


I’ve been working with Aline for the past few days on building riding skills and I’m seeing a really interesting battle between safe comfort and struggling effort. She’s been falling off the bike, always while stopped and preparing to ride the bike into an uncomfortable new direction – up and around a sharp right hand turn, down a slight grade into an intersection with uneven pavement and poor visiblity, even while parking the bike… with the side stand almost all the way down. I’m seeing how hard it is to try again after making what feels like a dumb mistake and how difficult it is to keep trying over and over again. One of the most interesting things is how you can see an obstacle and the feeling that it’s impossible to overcome feels so real. “I’m too small,” “I’m too weak,” “The bike is too big and heavy.” It all seems so true and matter-of-fact, and phrases like “It’s all psychological” don’t do justice to the weight of these kinds of obstacles. Everything you know about yourself is “psychological,” whether it’s true or not is another matter entirely, and it gets real slippery when you start encountering issues where you’re at the center of the matter but you’re not able to have the clearest picture.

Henry Ford said something like, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t: you’re right.” Close. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t: you’re not qualified to make that assessment, but you probably can.”

Written on June 4, 2019