Tag Archives: cycling

One Month Down, Eleven to Go: The State of the Steff

Why, hi there, you.

I’m just checking in. It’s a nice morning. My coffee cup is full. I thought, “Why don’t I go say hello to my minions?”

Yoo-hoo, minions! Hallo-o-o-o-o, minions.

Your friendly neighbourhood blogger is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.

My year of Being Better is underway. I promised myself I wouldn’t make New Year’s Resolutions, and I didn’t. Instead, I would become a better version of myself by the year’s end. In, well, hopefully every way.

A better writer, a better exerciser, a better eater, a better sleeper, a better relaxer, a better coper, a better friend, a better daughter. You know. A better me.

We get so hell-bent on timers in this digitally-powered world we live in. We have reminders to set reminders. From iCal date-planning to the extreme, to actually CHOOSING to get Facebook and Twitter notifications, as if life wasn’t full enough of micro-management.

You know, if y’all like that shit so damned much, you can keep it. I set reminders for when missing something would cost me money. Otherwise, I roll with it. And I’ve never, ever had any smartphone notifications turned on besides texting. Because life is meant to be lived, not full of alarms.

On this quest of betterment, I’m not micro-managing myself. I’m not setting a timeline and measuring my progress constantly. Instead, I find myself now and then remembering where I was a year ago today (packing and panicking ahead of my move to Victoria), maybe 4 years ago today (just beginning to make progress after my first back injury), even 8 years ago today (recovering from a head injury).

What was life like at those times? What were my goals? How would I stack up now?

Uh… everything is better now. I’m better now. I have far to go, sure, but don’t we all?

I’m in a lucky place because I know exactly how far I’ve come on the inside. I need to be in a place now where that shows on the outside.

I need to eat better and exercise better because it’s not an option. Either I feel good and enjoy life again, or I continue hiding out in the Cave of Mordor (what I call my apartment).

I’m much further along both those paths than I expected to be just one month into the year. How very exciting, minions. Do you see my excitement? I see my excitement. Yes, I do.

Soon to be my shiny new bike.

2012 ended with an incredible gift: The complete, final realization that my bike is continuing to be the main reason my back issues exist.

There’s a point in chronic injury where pain or discomfort (whether a livable level or something debilitating) is so omnipresent that you just lose your ability to discern what improves it or hurts it. It’s when you’re so unable to tell what the spikes are from that you just don’t know what to change to move beyond that.

I rode an upright hybrid bike recently, and better yet, one fitted to my measurements taken by a great bike shop. This was like a Dutch-style bike with a step-thru frame, suspended front forks & seat, nice big tires with semi-slick tread, and elevated close-to-body almost-wrap-around handlebars, and it was almost a religious experience. All this pressure inside my back kind of fell away, the strain on my shoulder and neck reduced.*

To imagine cycling, that thing I love, being comfortable? Even painfree? Or… dare I even think it, beneficial?

This weekend, it looks like I can buy this bike. Let’s see.

Today, I’m showing my old bike, Mighty Murphy. (Named, of course, for Dervla Murphy, the old Irish travel writer who cycled Africa’s Ukimwi Road in her 60s.) Hoping it sells. It feels like I’m breaking up with my past. Like I’m stomping my foot and pulling a Gloria Gaynor moment. You’re not welcome ’round here no more!

And it’s kind of like that. The painful breakup of a relationship. That bike is two worlds for me. It’s the thing that makes me one of the rare people who can say I know what it’s like to lose 80 pounds through nothing but hard damned work and powered by ME, but it’s also the thing that makes me one of those rare people who can say they know what it’s like to live with chronic pain for more than four years.

“Love/hate” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Had I not gotten sick at Christmas and laid low with a massive marathon of three seasons of The Wire plus an endless tirade of overrated TV on the PVR, my back wouldn’t have gotten the rest it needed so I could get on my bike in the new year and actually discern what was really going on inside me.

Then I had pain again, and I saw how I couldn’t stand straight when walking, and finally everything made sense.

Some might think the solution would be getting off the bike. But that’d be like telling me to live life without writing or photography or cooking. It’ll never, ever happen. I need that to be myself.

So. The new-ish me, the bettering me, the under-progress me is pretty pleased to be starting a new phase as “the urban cyclist” this weekend.

A shiny bike, a clean slate, and roads I’ve never seen before in a town that’s been my home for less than a year.

Being better, becoming better shouldn’t be an ordeal. You shouldn’t be punishing yourself for failing to meet expectations or demanding greater than what you’ve done. All progress is progress. Our lives are long. We can always keep becoming better. Growth has no end-point. Stop thinking you need to be the person you dream of being tomorrow, and be present in the moment while you’re getting yourself there. Maybe you’ll never be this person, this version of you again. Remember the moment.

Relax, grasshopper. Enjoy the ride. Like I am. Or soon will be.

______________________

* Buying a bike isn’t a “Ooh, shiny. Look, it’s green!” thing. You need to get FITTED for it. The right bike for ME could be entirely wrong for YOU. I not only have been fitted by a fantastic bike shop, but I was referred there by my Ironman-competing masseur and I got my bike style approved by my physiotherapist. The last time I bought I bike, I bought what I thought was pretty. It’s cost me thousands of dollars in lost income, pain, and more. Do your research. Don’t listen to anyone except professionals. Period.

Cycling: Why You Should Start, & How

Britain’s greatest Olympian ever retired yesterday. Chris Hoy took another gold medal in Cycling, and then called it a day. Tearfully, he said his career and these racing competitions weren’t just about winning gold, they were about seeing more people get on bikes. More cyclists, more roads with bikes, more, more, more.

Cycling isn’t just about exercise, it’s not just a way to get where you’re going. Cycling is a complete change in lifestyle. It’s pretty much the only sport that can change your life, in every way, on a daily basis.

When you park that car and ride your bike, you’re saving money, you’re saving the environment, and you’re saving your life.

It costs, on average, about $10,000 a year to run a car. Just riding a bus daily for work can cost you over $1,000, and that doesn’t include lost productivity in all those hours waiting for connections.

Cycling doesn’t cost a cent once you’re in it. Yearly maintenance costs are pretty low, especially if you know how to clean your bike chain and do some of that yourself. Quality bike maintenance and parts can likely be done for under $200 per year, and a good bike should last well over 10,000 kilometres.

Me, I changed cities and lifestyles entirely so I could ditch busing and other forms of motorized commute. I’ve gone from 60 hours a month to only riding a bus for 15 minutes in the last 30 days. The rest of the time, I walk and I cycle. I’m happier, healthier, and less inclined to want to slap the masses.

Change Your Thinking

When I was new to Victoria, I was busing a lot to get a sense of the world. My chiropractor was just under an hour by two buses. Turns out his office is close to one of the nicest bike routes I’ve ever ridden. Total time to cycle there? 25 minutes each way.

With my saddle bags attached, I can hit up some of the great food shops, save $5 on return bus fare, and get an hour of cardiovascular exercise in, reducing my need to find time to “exercise” at some point in my week. How is that inconvenient in any way? Well, it isn’t.

Once you turn all those wasted commute hours — because, by bus or car, you know you ain’t getting anything done but reading or emails — into exercise, that too is where you change your life. It’s killing two birds with one awesome stone.

Cycling is a low-impact, high-result exercise that does amazing things for your body, IF you’re riding the right kind of bike with a good fit. If your bike shop isn’t concerned about “fit” and how a bike performs with YOUR body, then you need a better bike shop. This is not frivolous “entitled customer” thinking, as bike fit is absolutely critical to your enjoyment of the sport, and whether it has negative effects for you.

With the right gear, the right fit, and a little conditioning, you will be amazed at the way cycling simplifies your life.

Tired of getting home angry after a 15km commute by car? Try cycling it. It only takes a month or so to be conditioned to cycle 15kms (10 miles), and I’m telling you that as a girl over 200 pounds. If I can do it, what is YOUR excuse?

Here are considerations for getting started in cycling:

Saddle Bags Will Change Your Life

I pick different areas to shop in every week. My saddlebags will hold 70 litres of goods, which is actually a lot for a single girl like me. I can get beer, veggies, meats, condiments, and more, for over a week.

In one area, I get Mediterranean foods, stellar produce, and Indian ingredients. I plan meals ahead and get things from all three on the same day.

For routine staples and bad weather, I have a closer network of shops for more mundane goods, an 8km circuit I can easily do year-round in about 90 minutes including both cycling and shopping, that sees me hitting 4 to 6 great food purveyors downtown, from Italian to organics.

Then there’s my elaborate “gluttony ride” out to Oak Bay, a beautiful seaside area, where there’s an artisan salumerie, specialty wine shop, and great cheesemonger’s, and I hit that up once a month with a mind to enjoy a fantastic cheese & wine platter after that ride — and getting 75 minutes of beautiful flat touring ride makes it a guilt-free gluttonous night.

Now, I never, ever leave home without my saddle bags because I’m either packing my camera and a lunch, or I usually make use of my excursion by grabbing things on my way home.

When you do, buy heavy-duty saddlebags, because they will last for YEARS. Mine are 5+ years old already, from Canada’s MEC, and cost me about $75 when I got them, and they’re not the expensive ones. If I replace them this winter, it will be for larger ones, not because of wear. Make sure they’re weatherproof, clasp into place, and have reflective surfacing, extra pockets, and easy-to-carry handles. These will be the best things you ever put on your bike.

If you could exercise AND save money AND get all your out-in-the-world chores done at the SAME time, why wouldn’t you?

Pick the Right Bike

There are lots of styles, and more than you likely think, when it comes to bikes. From step-through Dutch bikes to hybrids, road bikes, and mountain bikes, to beyond. Each has benefits, and it’s why most lifelong cyclists have more than one bike.

If you’re looking to be a commuter and use your bike for recreation, then a road bike’s probably the last thing you want, oddly. Get a good bike shop, talk to friends about why they like their bike (as opposed to what YOU should ride, just find out why it works for them). Plus, use places like bike swap meets, used shops, and cycling organizations to gain some good insight from people who use cycling as a whole-life endeavour, because they’re the ones who know.

Know Your Paths

Cycling on the road isn’t a death sentence, but I sure as hell don’t enjoy it as much as I like a pedestrian/cyclist trail, like the great paths here in Victoria, which include the Galloping Goose and the Lochside. Most North American cities are designating paths for cyclists now, but they’re not always where you’d know to look. Ask at your local bike shop to see if they’ve got maps for your region, Google routes, or scan the app stores to see if there’s a cycling app for your area.

The Google (the web version only) now has a “bikes” feature in Beta testing on Maps searches, and you can select that to see the most bike-friendly route. Bike routes are often better, and different, than walking routes as elevation tends to be a big factor in riding. Here in Victoria, the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails are on an old train track, so the elevation grade has been smoothed out very nicely despite all the dips and valleys of living on an island. This makes for a much less intimidating ride than heading up car-friendly hills and other steep grades, and makes it the perfect place to get accustomed to distance rides.

Another plus to Googling places for your travel route is you can also get an approximate cycling time and distance. From my experience, the times tend to be for the “semi-conditioned” rider — not experts, but someone who’s cycling more regularly, so if you’re new, add some cushion time there.

Skills Count

Cycling, like motorcycling, is very much a skills-based pursuit. The more confident you are, the safer you’ll be. You need to know you’re a victim in the making every time you get on your bike, because Car vs. Bike almost always has the same outcome. But that’s not to say you can’t be more prepared to avoid these situations entirely.

Most cycling organizations have Skills-based rides where they teach you how to ride smarter. Here in Victoria, there’s a 3-hour basic skills course that’s free, and there’s an 8-hour one that costs $30, where you go on a ride through the city and they teach you in situ what skills are suited to what scenarios, and how to be a proactive, safe rider.

Safety First

Gear is pretty much the be-all end-all with cycling. You get what you pay for, and, trust me, when your life is on the line in a mid-winter chores ride near dusk, cheaping out isn’t the way to go.

Whether it’s great-quality raingear that keeps your head in the game, rather than you shivering and thinking how awful you feel, or lighting for evening rides, quality counts.

For lights, you want to check out the brightness rating. How many watts? Anything less than 2 watts should be a throwaway. And if it’s only 2 watts, you likely want to double up. Obviously, you need a front and back light, but most cyclists never think to put spoke lighting on their wheels. The only seriously close calls I have ever had have been from cars on side streets not seeing me in front of them and nearly T-boning me. For $15, you can get a couple sets of spoke lights to make your wheels light up and give yourself 360-degree visibility on the road at night. Trick yourself out with lotsa lights, because being a Christmas tree means being seen.

A helmet is a no-brainer, but most people don’t like them. I’ve been saved by helmets twice — once preventing a head injury, and once preventing death. But, hey, if your haircut’s that important to you, fine — just opt out of my medical system if you choose the no helmet route.

And That’s a Starter

Cycling will change your life. That’s inarguable.

If you get hooked, it will be your drug of choice. It will clear your mind, improve your health, bolster your finances, charge your creativity, and mellow your mood. It will save the planet, too.

If your arguments are “It’s too hard,” well, that’s because you’re new. Cycling on the road, your conditioning improves faster, better, than probably any sport I’ve ever tried. If you think “It’s too far,” that’s also because you’re new. Trust me. Give it one month of 4-5 rides a week, and you’ll be stunned.

There are really no good reasons to stay off your bike. I’ve seen parents taking kids to school on bike trailers, children as young as 6 years old cycling 10 kilometres around a city with Mom and Dad during a day, and more.

Cycling is more flexible than you imagine, more rewarding than you could dream, and it’s something you can do today to change EVERY part of your life.

Give it a shot. You’ve got more power in you than you think. Change your life, ride a bike.

My Topsy-Turvy Love Affair with Cycling

Just a moment ago, I was stretching my stiff ass on my balance ball, watching the Women’s Omnium’s final race in the Olympics. (If you’re not familiar, it’s a serious of cycling track races that get tallied up for an overall score for the winner, kinda like track’s Heptathalon.)

Canada’s Tara Whitten finished fourth overall and was devastated, crying on a teammate’s shoulder after losing a  medal.

The winner overall was a young Brit, Laura Trott. The announcer spoke of how the Trott family had been overweight, and their mom decided they all needed to get healthy. She took a young Laura Trott down to the cycling club, got her put on a bike, and now here the kid is, a Gold Medal winner at the age of 20 in the Olympics at home.

On one of Victoria's amazing pedestrian/cyclist trails for a sunset.

Shifting Gears

I’d been half-inspired to write about cycling this week, but my mind’s in a million other places, thanks to personal anniversaries and such, so writing’s not been “working” for me.

Then I saw this girl win this medal, and it was something that all she started out doing was wanting to get fit ‘cos her mom saw the light. That’s all.

And I got to thinking that cycling’s never just “that’s all.”

Cycling changed my life — for good and bad. Mostly good, but here’s both sides of that story.

The Bad

The back problems I have been rehabbing off and on for 4 years, thanks to the repeat blowout on March 15th, 2011,  escalated and worsened because of a bad bike fit. Had that injury never happened, I probably would’ve remained on that road to glory I was on when I’d taken off more than 70 pounds in one year, from October 1, 2007 to October 3, 2008, the day my back initially blew.

Before that, I’d been cycling 150km or more a week, and I was just loving it. My mood was better, my ability to handle stress was better, I was happier to get out into the world every day. Cycling was my moment of Zen, it was my ADD cure. I was more productive day-to-day, more focused, and I really, really loved who it made me.

But the next three years became a cautionary tale about how important bike fit is, because we (meaning *I*) never figured out until last August that my bike could be the culprit keeping my injury sustained. That, and the 60 hours a month I was riding the bus.

Every time I had new back twinges, I’d be asking physios / chiros / doctors if my bike could be the culprit, and finally Dr. Bryson Chow made a couple suggestions, and we realized, yeah, the bike was a big part of the problem.

But that was then.

Now, I know what was the issue. Now I’ve moved and have a new chiropractor who’s worked with Olympic cyclists, and he doesn’t see me as some fat girl with a bad back, he sees me as a hopeful athlete who’s had some bad luck and bad advice over time.

Just five minutes from that great sunset bridge shot is this cycling underpass, on the Lochside Trail, just one of a couple painted-underside downtown bridges for cyclists & pedestrians only.

Time for a New Normal

I moved to Victoria March 1st. It was mid-April when I was given the okay to get back on my bike, the first time since last September. I was told to start slow, and never cycle back-to-back days, so I could always assess it after 24 hours and a sleep.

I’ve been seeing my chiropractor at least every 3 weeks during this time. He gives me advice, tells me what part of my body’s reacting badly, and we try to figure out where I’m going wrong and what to do next.

In mid-April, I began by cycling 5 kilometres a time for a couple weeks. Now I’m cycling 30, and I can cycle 4-5 days a week, not 2-3.

It’s proof that conditioning improves quickly when on the road or trails for cycling, versus working out in the gym. Especially, when, like me, you’re hauling way, way more weight up those hills than some skinny bitch or straw-like dude.

(Hicc) Namaste, Yo.

Despite those early hiccups, I’m reaching that Zen place again, where seeing a hill doesn’t send waves of terror through me. Instead of being sure I’ll have to stop at the top to wheeze and die, I’m more often sure I have it in me to reach the top of that hill. Last night, a long steep driveway I’d recently had to walk the bike up was one I easily scaled and kept on goin’ after.

And further along the same path, up around Rithet's Bog or Blekinsop Lake, on the Lochside Trail.

Every time I’m getting on a bike and I don’t think I have the energy to do what I need to do, I somehow always find it.

But those first three months? They weren’t pretty. I had repeated setbacks as I found more and more things wrong with how I was riding, what I was doing. I had to make some fit adjustments, I’ve had postural mistakes. It just hasn’t been pretty, but for every step back, there were two steps forward.

Just three months on, I’m quite further along than I really expected to be. I’d looked at maps of places I longed to visit, and though I’d never make it that far this year. I had moments where I could only be described with words like “distraught” and “crestfallen.”

Now, I’d choose words to describe how I’ve felt of late like “persistent” and “victorious.” Now, I’ve been past many of those places I set as early goals. Now, new goals are needed.

It takes a long time of plodding through and feeling quite useless, I find, before you realize that it feels good now, or better-than-bad most of the time.

It’s really a great journey, that of getting back into cycling, and going a little further and further, and gradually seeing your conditioning change because the scenery you get to see is changing too, as that distance creeps up week after week.

It’s Not Exercise, It’s a Lifestyle

Now, I don’t bus. I walk, or I cycle. My saddlebags are my life on my bike. Every week I’m finding new food stores to cycle to, places to see. Know what’s better than a 20km bike ride? A 20km bike ride that includes a trip to an artisan salumerie, a signature wine shop, and an encyclopedic cheese shop. That’s a cycling gift that keeps on giving — and it’s my kind of cycling life, in between the days when I’m finding myself on some tree-canopied trail on the other side of town, that is.

Soon, I’ll write about some advice for beginners on bikes, from all the things I’ve learned the hard way, some gear suggestions, and ways to make cycling touring a lot more fun.

Morning Movie, Memories, and Mental Detours

Good morning. It’s grey, dreary, quiet. I’m down to the last mug of the French press, contemplating a fleece jacket. I’ve not yet acclimatised to living on the ocean, despite growing up near it.

I’ve lived on the river for the last 12 years, on the Mainland, with the ocean a few kilometres off, but this waterside-life on the southern tip of an island that’s the last stretch of land in the Pacific Ocean before one reaches Hawaii, well… it’s an altogether more chilly beast on an early spring morning. One day, I’ll adjust. Today, there’s fleece… and time to think.

A Cinematic Escape

One of the many neat alleys in Victoria. By moi.

Lazily, I’ve had a “slow” morning. Quiet, breakfast, and coffee, watching David Lean’s A Passage To India. Thinking.

It was my mother’s favourite movie. I think I saw it as a youth, and I remember seeing it on PBS or something 10-12 years ago, shortly after her death, as I was consuming all manner of things loved by her in a deluded attempt to keep her memory alive. Needless to say, the movie didn’t really sink in then, either. I didn’t “get” it.

Now I’m about four years away from the age my mother was when she first saw it. Maybe now I’ll see what she saw.

A lot’s gone down for me in the 10-12 years since I last saw it. I still remember next to nothing of the film, so I’m quite enjoying it from my new eyes of being a woman in her 30s who also had two roads to choose from and picked the more complicated, daunting one after a good long think.

I also get to watch Passage in HD on my big-ass still-new-to-me TV, and the detail is so much more beautiful than I imagine it was back then. David Lean movies are like a master class in photographic composition. The lines, the colours, the light… things I’m really looking at as I fall back in love with photography in my new and highly-photogenic home.

A Riding We Will Go

I smiled and paused the movie to come write for you and I once the protagonist Adela goes cycling into the Indian jungle and finds a lewd temple depicting sexual scenes in stone, a la Kama Sutra, then has aggressive monkeys chasing her away. “What fun,” I thought. “And that’s what’s great about cycling. It’s so easy to just go a little further and investigate.”

Yesterday, I got the good wordword from my chiropractor that it’s okay to bring cycling back into my life, slowly, after a six month break. It’s my favourite way to discover the world around me, and if I’d never had back issues with it, I’d never have stopped riding, so… I can’t tell you how excited I am that a cycling life looms for me.

That’s why, when Adela has her first real “adventure” in India as a result of finally going cycling off the beaten path, it made me smile ear to ear.

There’s much of “real” Victoria I have never seen, and much of it can be cycled in 30-60 minutes, provided I make my life easier by using a bus to get to outlying parts, then cycle back to civilization. I have saddlebags, I can get to some of the neat food purveyors in other seaside areas, cycle home. I can bring cardio back into my life in a beautiful scenic way. I can photograph all the miles and miles and miles of coast and nature around me here.

It’s an incredibly exciting development. But I have to ease into it. And that’s okay too.

Moments of Doubt

Speaking of easing into things, I’m nearly four weeks into the move and, yes, doubts have risen from time to time.

I see I'm not the only one at a loss for where to go next. A perplexed seagull in Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf. By me.

The doubts don’t last long, and I don’t invest much in them because I know they’re just normal-humans-being-scared overthinkings. Did I make the right choice? Will I get a life, get a man, get a move-on? Will I have fun here? Did I unpack too quickly?

It comes, and quickly goes.

All I need to do to get my head back on straight is go for a walk (or: bike!), see some neat new thing that makes me like a certain element of Victoria’s citizenry, stumble on a new view somewhere, or return to Dallas Road’s incredible beaches, and POOF, I think, “Well, it’s a pretty damn good mistake, if I did fuck it up.”

And then I remember that my mother wasn’t the only one in my family who was into adventure. My dad lived in the Yukon for a year at the same age as I went Yukon-ho on my own — 21. My brother did his own kind of adventuring too, from hang-gliding to scuba-diving, and he’d be doing more now with the means for it. I think we’re supposed to be adventurers, us Camerons. I think I got root-bound staying in the same place too long.

When my mother saw A Passage to India, it was near the end of her marriage to my dad. It would be a long strange couple years and, with the hindsight of being a grown-up woman staring at the end of her 30s, I’m now wondering what books and films inspired her to set out on her own. Was this one?

What kind of doubt did she nurse as she considered doing what no other woman in the family had done — leaving her man, while still raising kids? Going back to school in her mid-40s, starting a career, providing for herself? If she did those things without doubts, she must’ve been a super woman, but I have a whole lot of evidence that she was normal, weak, and flawed like the best of us.

I don’t know what her doubts were, and safe to say, I never will.

But, as much as I love my dad, they just weren’t happy together, and the lesson I learned from their divorce was: If you’re not happy, make changes. It hurts, it’s hard, it takes worth, but there’s a lot of life to be left lived and doing it unhappily just isn’t the way to go.

My move here, to Victoria, is part of that life lesson their divorce gave me two-plus decades ago. If you’re unhappy, change it.

Did I make the right choice? I have no crystal ball but I think I did.

I do know staying in Vancouver would’ve been the wrong choice. So, there’s that.

Here’s to adventures, cycling, and seeing new things in a new life.

And here’s to finally feeling like writing more often. Looking forward to this feeling.

Because Every Adventure Needs a Story

Every vacation comes with that one day when Nothing Really Goes As Planned.

For me, that day was Thursday.

I got up early, psyched and ready for a great day. The plan? Throw my bike on a bus and do an extensive cycling tour of Kelowna for my last day in town. I’d pick up some ingredients to make a good dinner, and would have some Me Time around the water. Good stuff, I figgered. Easily done!

Or was it? Continue reading

The Desire to be Spent

It’s before 7 on a Saturday morning. The naive plan was, I’d get up and go swimming. I’m up. My body tells me I’m a fucking fool. Sleep, it says.

So, I’m going to. I’ll go back to bed in a few. And I’m all right with that.

The reality is, though, that I’m starting to realize between last night and today, just how much this not-working-out thing is killing and deadening my soul.

It’s worse than not getting laid. Far, far worse. Continue reading