America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

03 December 2006

Murat's Death Spiral Resumes

I really am a lucky person most of the time, except when I'm not... For instance:
My rear derailleur was destroyed today. A branch jammed it during my mountain bike ride, breaking it off and stranding me in the woods. Couldn't ride and had to hitch a ride back to my car. A real pity considering the sacrifice I made earlier in the day..
I slept in this morning and skipped the cyclocross race in Wrentham. Grrrr. Apparently there was a big soccer game which I am mistaken for caring about.. Later on in the day one of my team mates sends everyone on our racing team pictures from the event. Like rubbing my nose in it...
Also missed yesterday's antique tool auction- the one which comes around every four months or so- the one which helps supplement our income via ebay, the one I wanted to go to with my father in law (who is visiting from Turkey for the first time and would have enjoyed himself immensely) Why did I miss it? Because Murat is a gutless fucking weenie when it comes to certain domestic conflicts. This also explains why I opted not to go to the Wrentham race. I feel just like a caged lion. In a way I can't wait to get to work in the morning and pour all of this fire and poison into the impossible situations which I must conquer..
One of my highest level projects is going to have a complete melt-down tomorrow because a certain stone vendor in Ohio can't deliver my laboratory counters in time... I'm already thinking forward to what I will do with my free time, you know, in between jobs.
My father-in-law decided to break his abstinence of the past few weeks and bought himself some cheap vodka. I saw the brand and got a hangover... We broke out the bottle of raki we had been hiding (from both he and my father, who was also visiting recently) As long as he's going to drink, it may as well be something he likes.
My weight is up. Since the last road race of the season in October, I've been riding the bike only on weekends (when I am given permission), so instead of a caloric deficit, I have a huge surplus. I've gained 5-6 pounds so far and the sky's the limit, especially when I'm depressed, see I self medicate with food. One would think that the provider of a family would be encouraged to exercise and be healthy.. to train, race compete, be strong as a bull...but nyet.. Murat has the strength of four small children, not a bull.. Let me let everyone in on a little secret: I have to beg and plead and sometimes lie in order to spend time riding or training or racing on my bike. It's been the story of my life- the one thing which I am most bitter about- the one thing which I curse to hell and hate with every ounce of my being. Sometimes I fantasize about taking an ax or hacksaw and chopping all of my bikes into shattered bits, and leaving them in a pile in our garage for the family to find. I will plant a flag in the center which reads" "You win". And then I will walk in upon the astonished discoverers of my break-down, puffing a cigarette and guzzling a beer... Back to reality. That would be an awful waste of $10,000, so better just to sell them on ebay and use the money for the less wholesome habits and activities.
Thanks for reading.

12 comments:

Noel said...

Take your time and do what you need to do .

Anonymous said...

it's been interesting to read about your personal struggles. I don't know you, but I just felt the need to comment, so hopefully you'll take my comments with some indulgence and won't be completely offended by them. If i were you, i wouldn't blame the wife too much. the time you spend on your bike, racing, and what you have described as liberating, HAS to have some limits. Do you REALLY want to be wandering the world on your bike just racing, without a family or friends? Is it really that freeing? Once you start re-defining your sense of freedom, finding other constructive ways to deal with everyday problems and searching for 'freedom' or 'liberation' in different avenues of your life, it may help you to not constantly face the overwhelming NEED for you to ride your bike. The more I think about it, the less 'freeing' your biking appears to be. And that's the take of a perfect stranger!!!

Murat Altinbasak said...

noel: thanks. hearing 'take your time' is music, sweet music. Wish I could

Anonymous: out of context I probably sound like a prick. but there's a much larger more elaborate story about my cycling. Thanks for your comments, they did inspire a shift in my thinking..
but look at it this way: I could be one who prays five times a day, or who habitually gambles, it wouldn't make much difference to the amount of time I'd spend on it daily, would it? So I ride my bike to work and back all summer long, to avoid conflict (and at considerable inconvenience) All I want is a few hours on the early AM on Saturdays for training and a few hours on Sunday for racing (typically) Consider for a moment that I do not pray five times a day or gamble (or smoke or drink for that matter)... My prayer and meditation, my gambling and risk-taking, all occur on the bike. It keeps me sane, healthy and in control. Beginning with my mother and my father, and now continuing with my wife, I continue to be limited in the amount of time and effort I can put into this sport.. No one understands that I had a shot at being professional. Gone. Now I'm 35 and at the very least, I want to become a well respected master/elite racer in New England. But it seems that what I'm willing to settle for is even out of reach. It's frustrating, especially when no respect or consideration whatsoever is given to my future goals or past achievements. When I don't ride, I feel sick, and nobody but me gives a shit.

The Infidel said...

A perfect stranger you are, Anonymous.

You sound like an overprotective, overbearing, constipated parent, for God's sake.

"Once you start re-defining your sense of freedom, finding other constructive ways to deal with everyday problems and searching for 'freedom' or 'liberation' in different avenues of your life, it may help you to not constantly face the overwhelming NEED for you to ride your bike."...... SAY WHAT? You can't actually be serious, man.

Either you really have no idea what his yearning for personal space and freedom is all about or you just don't want him to have something that you yourself cannot have. Frankly, I'm tending towards both.

First of all, you cannot "re-define" your sense of freedom by an actual choice. It is already there and will always be until you are too old to do what you've always wanted to do and then you die an unhappy man. You can manage to hide it, at best, but for someone who actually has a passion attached to this sense of freedom this is impossible and damaging.

Secondly, your suggestion is like prozac for kids. Unnecessary, unhealthy, and downright repressive of the soul of a human being.

"Is it really that freeing?" Yes, it is. It's better than all the depression medications in this world put together. It's better than the best psychiatrist money can buy. And, at times, it's even better than, dare I say it? yes I do, sex with your own wife. Oh yes, that's how good it feels when it hits the spot.

"The more I think about it, the less 'freeing' your biking appears to be."........... This is just a confirmation of everything I said. You, obviously, don't have a passion attached to your sense of freedom. And that's OK. Few have it, most don't. But when the two combine for the very few, these few break their shakles and become the envy of the rest.

Amen.

Murat, I know you have much better sense than to listen to Anonymous. I understand the weight of responsibilities for any family man, but if you touch those bikes you will lose more than your sanity and nothing is worth that. Be yourself, and demand your rightful space in fair compromise. Take it from one of the very few.

metin said...

Murat: It's time to take up another hobby and be passionate again.

gewilli said...

i dunno - i made it through a couple comments before my eyes started getting all glassy...

how does it feel on the bike?

liberating?

how does it affect your life/quality of life?

If you give up the cycling what are you going to do to keep the level of fitness that will carry you through the life of your children?

Drinking and smoking ain't really gonna be that good...

'sides, cycling has great side effects for the wife, unless she's not taking advantage of those side effects (trying to not be too blatant)...

talk - say as much - let your wife know your goals... at least if you speak them it may make a difference? or not...

you HAVE to keep up the bike... i've got the 'go daddy' crew... hearing your kids screaming GO DADDY as you fly past them while ya are racing may not be the burning fire of some dickhead yelling you suck but it make ya happy... and makes ya work a little harder... when the little one can point you out in a crowded start line and get excited...

cross racing works for us (i say us cause me is hard to justify) because they all like watching...

Road races? Long races no spectating? BOOOOORING... TT? If they can play team car and follow? then that's cool... (for them)... crits? fun for them not for me...

cross... fun for all...

some people have told me - even with a family you will be unhappy if you don't think of yourself first, then your wife then your children. My take on it all? Balance the three. No time for You, doing what YOU want to do, doing what fuels your passion? and you'll collapse and take the rest down with you.

Bike racing has forced me to drop my other passion, TDI engine work and the car club scene. I had to pick... so cycling is my one thing...

Next time ya working up here around that new science building on campus here - lets grab some lunch or a coffee or something...

Anonymous said...

Murat, Gulay's Husband here.

I can relate to what you say as trying to find a balance can be tricky. I also work in construction and have travelled around the World for my job whihc is Design and Construction Management of tunnel projects. So far I've been in South Africa (2 years), Denmark (3 years), Hong Kong (6 years), Turkey (4 years) and now the US and have been doing that for the since 1988. I have ridden a bike road and mountain during all of that as its my release valve. One thing I did do though was to stop racing as I found that the added stress cancelled out why I rode in the first place whihc was to have something that took my mind off work. I tell you commuting 15 miles each way every day in Hong Kong on a bike is a sure fire way to forget about work and put everything into perspective, you know like staying alive with all the other traffic!!! I still ride at weekends and although I don't race I set myself targets and try to hit them and use the time to almost meditate, I never use headphones on a bike!!! If I miss a day cos theres an important match on the TV so be it, just do a bit more next time! Dont misunderstand me I am competitive, I hate losing at anhything but I just had to stop competing at everything and whilst riding is important the added stress was not.

I appreciate the issues you have at work, I am managing a $500 million tunnel project under Grand Central Terminal in NY and dealing with all the interested parties, without the bike I would be insane!!!

Murat Altinbasak said...

Infidel: I salute you for putting that out there. I'm reminded of the lines of a Bruce Springsteen song:
"The hardness of this world....
slowly grinds your dreams away...
making a fools' joke....
out of the promises we made.."
So true... We can't permit the grinding away to happen.
Thanks again. You made my day.

Murat Altinbasak said...

g-man: which comments made your eyes glassy?
As I said to infidel, you made my day too. Hearing a fellow racer speak out was ever so satisfying. Loved every word.....Thanks.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Gulay's husband: Quite the jet-setter you are! I'm envious. I love to travel, afraid of flying though.. Racing: On weekends when I miss an event, I feel sick. I train like a madman to get into good form and compete, to make my mark, to be a contributor to a good regional team. I hear what you're saying, but the reverse is true for me. Stress for me, is NOT racing.. and being the all-or-nothing freak that I am, if I don't at least aim to be among the best (at least regionally), there's no point in it.. A dangerous temperament I'm sure, but it's what makes me leap from bed in the morning.

gewilli said...

to tell the truth any comment longer than Noel's gets me a bit glassy eyed ;)

it was a sort of a stick poke kinda self effacing attack on long winded comments...

sometimes honestly i see a long list of words and get that feeling - usually and almost always tho - i force myself to just read the damn post/article/thread/whatever

which i did before i hit the login and publish button below... when i wrote the other post...

BTW...

this morning was cold. My wife dropped the littlest one off at day care and i actually had layers on and a balaclava believe it or not...

but i still rode in...

you could be doing it this time of year as well ya know ;)

get one of those windstopper craft base layers that Feltslave is always praising... rig that cross bike up with some clip on fenders and keep up the commuting...

nothing better for the soul than riding, esp when ya ain't trying to get extra miles in or do your training... just ride in and absorb the beauty of nature and what not man...

like i said - get your ass up here on the hill some time - lets get a beverage!

gamze said...

Badlands written by The Boss


Lights out tonight
trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision
smashin' in my guts, man
I'm caught in a cross fire
that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure girl
I don't give a damn
For the same old played out scenes
I don't give a damn
For just the in betweens
Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul
I want control right now
talk about a dream
Try to make it real
you wake up in the night
With a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just don't come
Well, don't waste your time waiting