Saturday, July 10, 2004

Starry-eye Sangfroid

The Whiteboard

The Tour! For those of you bicyclically challenged that's Le Tour de France. Watched two stages on tape and practiced guitar during the second. Two hours of practice, felt great.

Half hour practice.

Band practice. Not great, but we did record a couple of takes of our hillbilly version of Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.

The Commentary

I find the Tour inspiring, not just as a cyclist. It really is an incredible feat of strength, training and willpower. Three weeks, 3360 km and an average speed of around 40 kmh, it boggles the mind. The riders spend so long in the saddle and deplete their bodies so much that they lose measurable bone-mass in their spines. Yup, I enjoy people suffering for my entertainment.

But it's more than just entertainment. I've said before that I intend to outlast the better musicians around me. The Tour reminds me just how strong humans can be, it reminds me that finding the energy to pick up a guitar is not impossible, regardless of how tired and out of sorts I am. If Tyler Hamilton, the 4th place finisher last year, can ride the whole Tour with a broken collarbone then surely I can play guitar for a half an hour a day despite a sore wrist.

The Tour always provokes talk of doping and I'd be surprised if some of the riders weren't awash with chemicals. It's unfortunate that we let that kill our sense of wonder. We live in a cynical world and I'm far from the least cynical person in it, but sometimes being a little starry-eyed is the best way to go. So, from now till it's done I'm going to be in awe and hopefully that inspiration will help keep me going.

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