“IN Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (/jɪn/ and /jɑːŋ, jæŋ/; Chinese: 陰陽 yīnyáng, lit. “dark-bright”, “negative-positive”) is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” — Wikipedia.
AS a martial arts practitioner from a dojo that focused on this give and take in its teachings I may be more comfortable than most with this somewhat abstract idea. In fact, I often remind myself, my friends, my colleages, my family, and anyone that will listen to my nuggets of wisdom (IMHO) that “it’s all about balance.”
Yin/Yang can be simply described in day to day concepts that we’re all familiar with: e.g. good v. evil, black v. white, day v. night, etc. yet it can also be described more intricately, as it is here in this image from Yinspired Yoga.
But How Does That Apply to Cycling?
IN many, many ways Grasshopper. 😉
FOR this post, however, let me speak to something that struck me while I was on the trainer this morning doing some sweet spot training. I was focused on maintaining that power at a certain level (the sweet spot), watching my cadence, paying attention to my heart rate and contemplating my breathing. In other words, I was locked in on the data. The Yang.
LAST Friday, though, I wasn’t. Instead I took Beast (a Trek Rail eMTB) out (or it took me out, you pick) for an OaB to Diamond Valley, one of my favorite rides here in Alpine County.
MY legs were sore from the previous week’s training but I wanted (needed) to ride and so I thought an eBike ride would be just the ticket; I’m still pedaling but the bike is helping so much that I can make it a recovery ride.
- I rode without a power meter.
- I didn’t focus on my heart rate.
- I cared not one iota about my pedaling circles.
- It was wonderful!
I just enjoyed the time, and the scenery. It felt like it did when I used to ride as a kid. And when I got back on the trainer the next day I felt more symmetry. I was more joyful and I was grateful that I had taken the time the day before to just have fun; to just be a dude riding a bike.
NOW this was my balance exercise. It doesn’t have to be yours. Hell, maybe you don’t even have an e-Bike. Maybe you’re a purist and would never ride one, let alone own one. No worries! You could also do an easy walk after a hard ride. A mountain bike ride after a walk with the kids. A yoga session one day instead of hammering like you did the day before. You get the idea.
THE point isn’t that you should do this or that or shouldn’t do that or this.
INSTEAD, we might all spend some time practicing getting out of our own way (i.e. not being so focused on what should or shouldn’t be) and just enjoying the moment!