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The title says just about everything.  Truly, absolutely, if you want to benefit, then you need to force you to do things you do not feel like doing.

Anyone who rides a bicycle or runs or trains understands what that means.

Springtime means that I am going to have an allergy induced cold.  I have one now, a cold I felt coming on yesterday morning when my nose started to run.  My mother and I both are afflicted at the moment, an affliction we genetically share.  Yesterday afternoon, after my office manager and I attended a trade show together in the morning, she came into my office to discover me with my head back against the head rest on my office chair, asleep.  That has never, ever happened.  But the oncoming cold had kicked my butt and I could not resist.  I managed to make it through the afternoon at work, hoped to come home and load up my bike for a trip around the trails.  Instead, I occupied the couch in my living room, fell asleep for over two hours.

I should have forced myself to ride.  It was a picture perfect day.  Had I avoided the couch, I likely would have felt 100% better after the blood started flowing.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Just maybe I needed the rest.  I know that I slept soundly through the night.

However, I was not going to let one more day pass without riding.  After all, it has rained 11 out of the last 14 days, limiting my riding opportunities.  It is a good thing that the trail system that I ride dries out very quickly.  So I loaded up my bicycle and ride clothing in my car before work, the idea being that I would drive out to the trails from the office.

It worked.  I did just that this evening.  My head was three feet thick from the cold, but I rode.  My plan was to ride the full 7 miles of trail, then stop.  However, when I was just about finished, I met my friend Greg on the trail.  Greg is 15 years younger, a much more experienced rider than I am.  Greg asked me if I wanted to ride with him, so I kept riding, adding another 30 minutes to my ride.  Not only that, but following Greg always teaches me something.  I watched him navigate a section of trail that I have never, ever been able to conquer.. until tonight.  I watched how Greg navigated that section and rode straight through without stopping.  Win.  Win. Win.

For those curious, that section starts at the top of a very tall berm, turns sharply left over several nasty roots and drops straight down.  To navigate that section, one has to ride up a steep banked turn and then left the front wheel before dropping down.  Watching someone do it gave me the knowledge and the confidence to do it.

I still feel like dirt, but at least I got dirty.

And dang, the baked chicken and brussels sprouts I cooked when I got home took an edge off, as did the hot shower.