of anything sucks.  Yesterday, to ring in the New Year, I went mountain biking at the only dry trail in Colorado’s Front Range: Green Mountain.  Green Mountain is great because it’s totally exposed, gets plenty of southern sun, has some great singletrack, and has some vomit-inducing climbs.

I started my ride from the western parking lot on Rooney Road, just over the pedestrian bridge that spans C-470 in Morrison.  I like starting here because you can start your ride with aforementioned vomit-inducing climb up the jeep road, which takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.  I made it a tenth of a mile from the top before the cilia on my longs cried, “Uncle!”

But after I caught my breath and swallowed the urge to vomit, I had a great ride.  The wind was coming in from the northwest, so I ducked for cover on the east.  I opted for the trails less traveled, avoiding hikers and dogwalkers as much as I could.  I’m not a hater, it’s just that momentum is key for winter riding.  If I stop I have one more excuse not to start again.

The ride itself–I floated over rocks, cornered switchbacks, and climbed again when the occasion called for it.  I rode for ninety minutes but expended most of my energy in the first twenty.

In other grueling twenty minutes:

Running–I strongly dislike running (earlier I said I wasn’t a hater), but I know it has its benefits.  To get through the first twenty minutes of a run (which is almost all of it), I turn on some hip-hop–Missy Elliot, Nelly, Backstreet Boys–clutch my bottle of water, and as Michael would say, Just Do It.

Writing–writing itself is not that hard.  It’s getting to the writing that’s hard for me.  After an hour or so on the timesuck Facebook, I remind myself that I’ve got a deadline.  I never have trouble starting once MS Word is there and the cursor is blinking patiently.  It’s actually opening MS Word that’s difficult.  And I always forgive myself when the first few paragraphs of whatever I’m writing suck.  Takes twenty minutes, I remind myself, to get in the groove.

Hiking–just as bad as running.  Usually done sans iPod, hiking, especially in Colorado, means steep uphill.  I just try to breathe streadily, not talk, and dream about the views from the top or the after-hike benefits, like wonderful, sleep-inducing exhaustion.

Yoga–I don’t do as much yoga as I should, and I sure hate the first twenty minutes of it.  I’m incredibly inflexible and am reminded of such when I’m doing even simple moves like the swan dive.  In the first twenty minutes I’m trying to breathe properly, trying to focus on getting much-needed oxygen to my deprived lungs, and trying not to pass out. For me, yoga is trying.  Still, at hour’s end, I feel like eating a great big salad and settling down for a long winter’s nap.

The first twenty minutes–thank God it only lasts twenty minutes.