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All animals need play

By James Durand

By James Durand

As I write this it’s Sunday night. I got home late this afternoon from a weekend of racing bikes.

As much as this was the year to do less in the Durand/Campbell family, we seem to have taken advantage of doing less by and somehow filling any and all spare time with way more. I think our plan back-fired.

I always seem to take on too much and end up buried, stressed, and tired.

Sure, we are pushing off things like finalizing reno’s, planning our future, and completing the finishing touches on the Swicked building, but every time we have a spare weekend, we seem to have filled it with some sort of activity. Not a bad trade you say, eliminating chores and adding in fun?

I agree, but that coveted “do nothing weekend” is still very elusive.

Last Wednesday I was planning the race weekend and mentioned to Chenoa that maybe I should cancel the trip.

We’re busy at work, we’re busy at home, and the thought of packing all my gear, tuning up a bike, and preparing our travel trailer was a bit overwhelming.

“It might be easier to stay home with no plans and just hang out,” I said.

Chenoa told me to suck it up and go have fun, so I stuffed enough riding gear in the trailer for the weekend, packed pasta, porridge, and peanut butter in the cupboards, and a few beer in the fridge. Bachelor weekend at its best.

I headed down to the race on Thursday and as much as the stress lingered, I tried to persuade myself to deal with it Monday.

I parked, unloaded my bike and did an awesome pre-race test lap before even setting up camp, and all stress was gone.

We raced our first leg on Friday afternoon, leg 2 and 3 on Saturday, and finished it up with an epic and mucky ride on Sunday.

As I was assessing the tear down, the drive home, and the immense amount of clean up after three days of wet and sloppy mountain biking, I also thought about how much work was waiting for me.

Normally, this would spike my blood pressure and start the cycle all over again, but after such an amazing weekend of riding and hanging out with old friends, the stress didn’t have a chance of survival.

I got home, went for a ride with my kids, cleaned everything up, and even did a bit of work.

But, I was so relaxed after just a few days of play time, none of this bothered me.

It’s hard to see fun as a necessity, but without it, my efficiency, productivity, and sanity all seem to suffer. So, I think I’m happy to cross “do nothing weekends” off my list forever, as long as I replace them with lots of play time, no matter how busy that might make me.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…