There’s something about writing a PhD that makes people around you fidget, then ask, “Is it OK if I, um, ask, um, how it’s going?” It surprises me that postgrad students are a culture of people that make the people around them feel like that. And it surprises me even more that people sign up to a three or four year project and accept the fact that they’re going to feel horrible and anxious a lot of the time.
Personally, I feel it’s important to enjoy the process and appreciate all the good things that come along with it. Having just returned from a two month study binge it has been great to realise not only how much I’m enjoying writing out ideas, but how much I really enjoy the lifestyle this enables. I mean, it is a pretty special thing to be able to spend a good chunk of time, just focused on the one project, without having to manage lots of other things alongside it.
Tucked away in a quiet coastal village for a few weeks here and there, I’ve been enjoying bookending study with swimming, sweet singletrack, beach-side runs, yoga and chasing fish with a snorkel. I have no plans of becoming a triathlete (ouch), but it has been great shaking my body out and preventing it from taking on the shape of a computer chair. The mountain biking is too much fun to interrupt with photo taking, but here’s a gallery of my other favourite places to think:
The above study bender also explains the lack of winter racing this year – I can’t recall having chosen to have a break from racing in the past, but it has been great to build up fitness whenever it feels good, and rock up to events with the type of enthusiasm that builds with anticipation.
Thank you to my friends, family and sponsors for supporting me during the study process. I’ve hit the final three months now, but don’t be afraid to ask how it’s going. It’s so good, I almost don’t want it to end!