The Far Island Fox Hunt: Not on the sofa
I don’t know if you’ve ever been on one of those rides. Where the vision is rapidly disintegrating but you refuse to let go of the dream. Maybe you just had a couple of near misses (your fault?), you’re cold because you inexplicably chose summer over winter gloves (what the hell were you thinking?), and you just can’t shake the face of that schmuck at work (I bet he’ll get bloody promoted!).
Yet, slowing for another 5km hit of 40km/h roadworks on your favourite stretch of road you are still able to muster up the most genuinely enthusiastic voice you can, exalting loud enough to frighten the children peering back at you from the car in front: “This is bloody brilliant, what a great ride.”
Call me bipolar (and you wouldn’t be the first) but there’s two competing dialogues going on there. It’s easy to think that the best thing to do would be to call it a day, park your arse on the sofa and hope someone’s showing reruns of Mork and (mostly) Mindy.
Well, dear readers, I’ll let you in on the results of my own experiments, lovingly performed on a live animal (namely, myself).
As cute as Mindy is, that sofa king idea ain’t sofa king good.
Firstly, and it might seem plain obvious to you, even a bad day out on the bike is better than a good day on the sofa.
Secondly, the reality is that those same internal discussions will be had on the sofa. In fact, without the mindful appreciation of the road, you’re more likely to entertain that bollocks your (even sober) mind seems adept at spewing forth at solo sofa parties.
Thirdly, there is always the chance of having an almighty win; getting a corner just right, finding a brilliant new road, witnessing a yowie crossing the border ranges (are those prints still there?). OK, it might not always happen but there’s more chance of that than Mindy (or Mork?) stepping out of your TV set and snuggling up on the sofa.
And finally, one I think we all know: The times we remember, the times we love to recount to friends, relatives, or anyone sitting too close at a party, are the times things went pear-shaped and yet, undoubtedly due to our own resilience, ingenuity, perseverance (and some questionably waterproof gloves) you came through. “Notch that one up on Mork, dear Mindy”.
The past few weeks now I’ve had to coerce myself into doing things that offer the mere potential to create a feeling I need to experience. Knowing full well there is no guarantee what I seek will be realised on that occasion, on that ride, makes it even harder. But unless I pick up my sack o’ bones and position it in a place that offers the best potential I’m not giving myself much of a chance.
And as there’s no chance at all Mindy will be stepping out of my $10 set-top box I won’t be lying on the sofa yelling, “This is bloody brilliant” anytime soon. No, better I concentrate on riding the bike.