Thursday, June 11, 2009

indifferent in a week, to a beautiful physique

Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Jonathan Barnes' edition of the Complete Works of Aristotle, vol. 1, soaking up sweat under my trainer.

I'm panicked. Next Wednesday I'm scheduled to give a talk in the UK. Some of my audience is smarter than me. (Smarter than everyone, I should say.) It's kind of like I have to race Contador, Evans, and Valverde next week on a stage with three hors categorie climbs.

So what am I thinking about? Cycling. And how do I quell the nerves? Jump on the trainer and ride just under threshold for an hour.

I've got to train my thoughts, not my legs. Gaze deep into logical space. Anticipate everything. I'll need all of my cognitive resources, and then some. So no blogging. (Calvini, it's all you, buddy.)

I'm trying to make the transition. Auden comes to mind again. Encouragement.
Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and the innocent
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,

Worships language and forgives
Everyone by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit,
Lays its honours at their feet.
So... does this mean I should work on my intellectual "output," and not my cycling? Maybe cycling glory doesn't last, but so what? Why is endurance the deciding factor?

Right now, I'd rather be Merckx than Malebranche. (Not that either is a possibility.)


Anonymous said...

Heard a guy on the radio today while driving to Haines Point recite some verse he said he wrote last night that starts "From Satre to the Sizzler, from Metamorphisis to Metamucil....", he concluded with the statement, which I believe was not part of the verse which was more extensive than the two representative lines I related, "how do you reconcile the dreams of your youth with the life that you are living today"? I was amused be the subtle brilliance and had a chuckle as I was in a car on my way to ride my bike.

Calvini said...

Good luck dealing with that cycling obsession.

You know, they've got mental performance enhancing drugs nowadays?

If you get mentally dropped, blame it on the fact that your opponents are dopers, not your own inability to focus.

qualia said...

I think I'll have to comfort myself with the knowledge that even if I'm mentally dropped, I could beat any of them on a bicycle. (And in a cage fight.) Not an athletic bunch.