Things have been weird in the week since you last heard from me. Weird, but wonderful.
Late in the afternoon last Wednesday, my current employer announced an immediate return to working from home. I wasted no time driving to Brookfield to retrieve my company-issued laptop, as it is necessary for many of the tasks I perform. I’m now in my last two weeks of employment with that company and I’m delighted that all of it will be spent at home. At the end of the month I will return the laptop and my card key and that will be that. Working from home for these final days will have saved me a total of 11 roundtrip drives: 726 miles, about $50 in gasoline, and roughly 12 hours in the car. That's not to be despised.
And my new job will start at home. How long that will last is anyone’s guess … probably through winter, at least. Sooner or later we’ll get a handle on the pandemic and then I’ll most likely be asked to report to the office. But in the meantime I want to be comfortable. The nesting instinct has been strong lately and this is not the first time I’ve felt it. During my first round of working from home, 2011-2015, I recognized that some things about the house that had been OK when I saw them only occasionally were intolerable when I was exposed to them constantly. I was motivated to make a number of changes that resulted in a cleaner, safer, more comfortable home. The newest manifestation of that impulse already has led to changes in the family room and the home gym, areas immediately adjacent to the home office in which I spend so much time. New furnishings will make the family room a place where I can really relax. That’s something I do poorly and it hurts my sleep, which in turn hurts my athletic performance. So, I’m going to allow myself some down time … every once in a while. The changes in the home gym are less substantial: a little cleaning and decluttering to make workout time a real no-nonsense event. I don’t want to linger in the home gym; I want to get the job done.
Three weeks into my winter strength training program, I’m already seeing progress. Week One hurt, but by the end of April I should be a monster. This winter will be mostly about fixing areas that I have injured or neglected over the years, shoulders and back especially. Right now I don’t have a plan for winter turbo trainer rides. I’m not sure how much I’m going to commit to bike-specific fitness. There’s still no reason to think bike racing will return to normal in 2021, and without that incentive I will struggle to convince myself to train like a racer. It’s OK though. Even if I avoid the trainer altogether this winter, I’ll come back strong next spring if I stick to my strength training program, sort out my sleep issues, and make a couple of fairly painless adjustments to my diet.