@Downes question (like a real reflective one) - looking back, -as I remember conversations where you mentioned that getting to your main goal of 2K was something you had only done once and you sort of put it like it was a fluke and not replicable... was there a moment when the 'I can' set in and you knew you were more than capable and inadvertently found ways to progress? Can you pinpoint small changes? Methods? Moments of thought? Positive reflections along the way?

@lauraritchie It has all been very incremental. There has been no 'yes I can' moment (other than after the fact, when the accumulation of mileage brought the goal loser).

Part of it has been gear. The first time I did it was also my first time with a proper road bike. Using biking gloves helped a lot, and this year I got a gravel bike as well, which extended my season, and proper cycling shorts.


@lauraritchie Part of it has been opportunity. We started camping in PEI for a months, which was a perfect place to do a lot of cycling. Then we moved out into the country in Ontario, which helps a lot. This year the pandemic meant I was working from home, which game me more opportunity.

And part of it is experience. Both experience in terms of getting in better shape (despite my weight I feel more athletic now than at any time in my life) and experience in skill and resilience...

@lauraritchie (I repaired spokes on the road for the first time this year, I've learned how to avoid flats with proper tire inflation). And part of it has been the experience of how the years go in the past, learning how to build up, knowing that later in the year I will have much greater endurance, etc.

Finally, I think the realization of the benefits is now more concrete. For me, the primary benefits are mental. Bicycling keeps me centered, prevents me from spiraling into unhealthy thoughts.

@lauraritchie (I should add that it's not always that way. I have a very distinct 'yes I can' moment while learning French - I had agreed to do a talk in French in Clair, New Brunswick, and worked hard preparing for it for weeks. I arrived at the venue and had a quick greeting exchange in French and realized in that moment, "I can do this, I can speak in French". ...

@lauraritchie But there was also a teaching-learning moment in advance of that as well, when my instructor advised me to look at speaking French in specific 'frames' - ie., the tense-bound content of the sentence (so unlike English, where we decide tense on the spot almost word by word). So the framing gave me a tool, and I was able to take that and develop the confidence.

@Downes what you've written is awesome. Thank you. Truth is I can just about keep up with the teaching prep of pre-recording (it is unusually heavy this semester) and sometimes anything else - even the lovely thing of having such a gift of a wonderful reply is a bit exhausting.

I'm on it now, after a good night's sleep :) The examples you gave are wonderful, yet very different. I wonder if you were to consider the learning of French as opposed to the speaking engagement. (cont)

@Downes so with cycling, there was a goal, but not a dae and time deliverable sort of goal, but more of an imaginary level - without a competence test at the end. With a talk, you kind-of know if you got it or not. -also with French learning you had an instructor. I wonder if the compeltely self-driven and guided task gives a different outlook/perspective. (cont) 2/3

@Downes (of course it does - I really mean how we perceive this and if we are aware of what role we take on to do it and how that impacts us, our learning, & achievement).

What is even more interesting is how many people reflect on this and how it impacts them going forward. -perception of self, understanding of capability, and breaking down of assumptions.

The blue sky is actually out there, not just a dream. ...and you've seen it. (cont, for a ps) 3/3

@Downes as a ps. that feeling of just to much that I mentioned in the first one - it's funny how *making* the time and allocating the energies to write, to communicate, to do whatever it is- feels so good. I think in these weird times it is possible to get sucked into various voids. Too much of one thing or another. Too much lecture video prep for me! I need to play that cello! :)

...looks like I'm doing my own reflecting here. :)


@lauraritchie There are different aspects to learning, and different subjects emphasize them differntly, and that's a big part of the different sort of experiences I have.

- understanding - that is, in the sense of 'getting' it - it's usually very easy for me to get it, and when I don't, it's because I'm moving too rapidly, and if I slow down and take it step by step I invariably get it, and the feeling is one of 'the last piece has fallen into place'


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