Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

My wife thinks I am suffering from unicycle insanity. And lately, I am beginning to think she might have a point.

I am 46 years old–last year, out of the blue I decided to try something I always wanted to do–ride the unicycle. I did a web search and I found an abundance of websites such as this one. I learned about all the brands, and even before I purchased my first uni (a Sun 26 inch–I stuck a KH seat on it), I began to feel an odd obsession with the world of unicycles. Once I got my wheel, I was hooked–almost like a drug. The feeling of riding (after thousands of falls, I did not, could not give up) was such a rush, such a feeling of triumph, that I felt (and some people said I even looked) half my age.

Of course I went on to purchase several unicycles–I love them all.

The problem now is that I eat, sleep, dream and think about unicycles 24/7. Yes, I dream about unicycles! Is this normal?

My family is annoyed at me because whatever the conversation might be at the dinner table, I always find a way to steer it toward the subject of unicycles. They can care less, but I can’t help it.

My daughter is furious at me because any time her boyfriend comes to pick her up, I always ask him if he ever heard of things like MUni or Freestyle, or if he’d ever like to check out one of my unicycles. She told me that lately he said to her “You know, your dad’s a nice guy, but he’s kind of weird–all that unicycle stuff” (note, my daughter’s boyfriend is a football player.)

My son is royally pissed at me because I sort of promised to get him an X-Box for his birthday–instead, I got him a Torker 24 inch. He sulks a lot, and he NEVER even looks at it and he certainly never rides it–guess who does.

My wife did not speak to me for a week because we were at a cocktail party, and the conversation turned to the presidential election. Someone asked me who I was planning on voting for and I answered in complete honesty that I had not given the matter much thought because I do not know the candidates positions on unicycles. Truthfully, I don’t find much of a difference between Bush or Kerry, but I did wonder which one of the two would be better for the world of unicyclists --and, perhaps more importantly, which of the two would be more likely to ride a unicycle? That’s the real question. If Bush wins, and I get another 400 dollar tax rebate, then I could afford to buy a Coker. On the other hand, to me, Kerry looks more like a unicyclist–he seems pretty sportive–I could imagine him riding a unicycle, and I can’t imagine Bush doing that at all–but, like I said, a tax rebate means “Coker Time,” so I’m torn. I started to explain all this to my wife’s friends at that cocktail party, and they all just stared at me like I was out of my mind. My wife supports Kerry, and she was totally embarrassed by what I had to say.

My Boss (a Bush supporter, by the way, who agrees with my wife that my political analysis is “weird”) is not pleased with my unicycle obsession. I ride my 29 inch Yuni to work–I wear a hockey helmet and gloves, and I am heavily padded–he told me that I was giving the company a strange image by showing up for work like that. For some reason he thinks its ‘hippyish’ even though I do not have long hair.

I only began to wonder if my obsession was going too far when I realized the oddness of the following;

I missed my son’s baseball game because I decided to put a Big Apple Tire on my Yuni 29 inch instead.

I rented Space Balls because someone on this website mentioned that there was a unicycle scene in the film and I fast forwarded through the whole film to try and see it.

I suggested to an English Teacher friend of mine that he should consider assigning Lars Clausen’s book to his class.

A policeman pulled me over for making a wrong turn–as he was writing the ticket, I asked him if he rode the unicycle–his answer was a blank stare. Then he forced me to take a breath analyzer.

Bicycles are starting to look strange to me–they always look like two unicycles stuck together–I never thought this way before, but it’s true.

My wife demanded that I “stop always talking about goddamned unicycles all the time” and as a result, I have almost nothing to say to her. Same with my kids.

I have secret names for each unicycle (I know, it’s creepy and sick).

I get really really crabby whenever I go for a day without unicycling.

I had a dream that I was at a special pagan church where they worshipped unicycles. I am ashamed to admit that in the dream, I participated in this religion–in the dream, I thought God was a unicycle–it made sense while dreaming, but when I woke up, I felt really strange and disturbed. (No offence meant to you religious unicyclists out there, I’m just taking about a bizarre dream I had…)

My wife pointed out that I spend too many hours a day on the internet. At first she was afraid I was visiting porn sites or chat rooms, but when she checked my browser’s history and saw that I spent nearly all of my surfing time at unicycle websites, she had a fit. She told me that at least porn was sort of normal–this, (meaning unicycles) was not.

Ironically, when I asked my psychotherapist about my unicycle obsession, he laughed and said that indeed it was normal, and that unicycling is very healthy.

No one else I know agrees with him. My wife thinks I’m crazy.

Which brings me back to the psychotherapist–I started seeing him because I used to suffer from depression–however, since I got into unicycling, you guessed it, I am no longer depressed. In fact, I have never been happier.

The unicycle is like an anti-depressant. Better in fact. But maybe the social oddities that I have picked up are like a side effect.

I don’t know any other unicyclists. So my question for all you other one-wheel riders out there is, am I alone in my unicycle obsession? Am I insane? Or do you (whoever you are) have similar enough experiences to think that these eccentric qualities come with the territory of discovering the joys of unicycling.

–Ted T.S. (wheelie_big_wheel)

I feel dirty if I go a day without unicycling. Don’t worry man, we’re all in this together. What I’ve discovered, however, is that you can’t make other people like what you do. It’s better to be interested in their ideas and hobbies and they will be more interested in yours. Don’t force your son into unicycling, be interested in his deals and maybe he’ll get interested in yours.

Wow more people need to read this story it really was great and funny. No you are not alone in your unicycling obseesion I think most people are obsessed with it. I think thats great that you overcame your depression thanks to unicycling. I hope you keep up with unicycling because this story really was inspirational.

Brian

If I had been drinking a Coke when I read the line about checking your browser, it would have been the end of my laptop.:smiley:

As for obsessed, sure you are. I don’t think you have it any worse than many that I have met. All I have to do is take my wife to a Uni event with other riders for her to see that not only do I not have it that bad, but that others that I know that unicycle are pretty normal people. Some of the best people I know unicycle. Not sure where you live, but get together with some other riders that share your passion. It will be like a total release.

As for Bush/Kerry, I am not sure about either unicycling, but I have seen a picture of Donald Rumsfeld riding a unicycle when he was younger.:wink:

This is definitely a healthier obsession than many choose. I am certain that many think I am weird for getting into unicycling, but just as many think its amazing that I can do it. Typically the more positive the person, the more supportive they are with my choice of sports. The rest are just a little on the closeminded side.

If you were depressed, and unicycling has helped you out of it, then your family should be exited about your new obsession. I was in the same place. I was going through a tough situation and was unable to think about anything but that situation. Then I decided to start unicycling. I had to concentrate so much that my mind could no longer focus on the other situation. Soon I was out of the funk, and the unicycle was a big part of it. My wife knows this and is very supportive. As a matter of fact she even has learned to ride about 30 feet, before she became pregnant with our 2nd kid. My 1st is still young enough to be impressed with everything I do, so she is real supportive.

Good luck, and keep up the good work. But, just like unicycling, find the balance in your life to keep the harmony in your family.:smiley:

Dont worry, you defiantly not alone. Not only do I have a name for my MUni, dream about unicycling, and absolutly have to unicycle every day, but I will sometimes find myself standing there just stroking my KH seat. I would suggest however that you try not to shut out your family with unicycling. Otherwise, uni 'till you drop.

                                 Jason

Someone once commented during our weekly Tuesday evening ride that unicyclists are pretty much obsessed with this activity. Everybody agreed. Afterall, why else would we all have (how should I put this?) more than one unicycle.

My almost daily ride certainly improves my mental attitude about life and the world. However, I have to make a conscious effort to not talk “unicycle” at work. They are tired of hearing about it.

Strange dream though. I hope I don’t go that far over the edge. <G>

Go to your son’s baseball game. The tire can wait.

You sound WAY to much like me, with the unicycle stroking, glad I’m not the only one so freakish.:smiley:

Whenever I go anywhere, even if I have taken that same route hundreds of times, in a car, on a uni, walking, or whatever, I am always scanning the area, thinking “hey, that would be pretty cool to uni on” or “that would be cool to uni on if…”

oh and by the way, wheelie_big_wheel, you are my hero.

john

Re: Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

On Fri, 13 Aug 2004 18:34:22 -0500, “wheelie_big_wheel” wrote:

>On the other
>hand, to me, Kerry looks more like a unicyclist–he seems pretty
>sportive–I could imagine him riding a unicycle, and I can’t imagine
>Bush doing that at all

About a year ago, Bush tried to ride the Segway People Mover (a
motorized contraption with two wheels side-by-side, the
forward-backward balance being allegedly “fool-proof” under
computer-control), and managed to fall off at the front. So indeed, he
wouldn’t unicycle by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s good for you that you get so much support in this thread.
However, personally I think that you’re taking it too far and from the
sound of it you might even risk loosing your family. Would that make
you happy? Or them, for that matter?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe

you are cool man dont stop

every men have some obsession. it can be everything with that you are happy. when I firs saw kris riding nort shore I wanted uniycycle. everybody from my family have to listen about unis and what I think about it. I could speed hours talking about unicycling. now after 7 mounths of riding its starting to be normal for me. I just unicycling and I like it a lot. by the way my girlfriend dont like unicycling but understand me and likes my passion. but sometimes of course can say to me “stop talking about unicycling all the time” :slight_smile:

by the way my unicycle has name too…:wink:

you are by far the coolest person on earth.

some suggestions:

-cook pancakes in the shape of unicycles
-keep a spare tire under your pillow
-legally change your name to something unicycle related
-build a trials park in your son’s room, so you can spend more time with him
-scare your daughter’s boyfriends away until she finds one that can unicycle
-try to list your unicycles as dependents
-buy your wife a shirt with a unicycle on it
-use profanity when passing a bike rider
-promise your son an xbox AND a playstation 2 and instead buy a coker (so you can vote for kerry)
-refrain from using plurals
-buy enough unicycles so that they outnumber the rest of the family, then speak of unicycling as an interest of the majority

Re: Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

“wheelie_big_wheel” wrote:
>
> My wife thinks I am suffering from unicycle insanity. And lately, I am
> beginning to think she might have a point.

> My son is royally pissed at me because I sort of promised to get him an
> X-Box for his birthday–instead, I got him a Torker 24 inch. He sulks a
> lot, and he NEVER even looks at it and he certainly never rides
> it–guess who does.

Your kids will avidly seek to emulate your activities, but only if they
don’t feel forced to.

> I had not given [Bush vs Kerry] much thought because I do not
> know the candidates positions on unicycles…

Dude, that is twisted. Take a look at the Bush enviro record, all decisions
favoring big business over public and environmental health.

> I missed my son’s baseball game because I decided to put a Big Apple
> Tire on my Yuni 29 inch instead.
>…
> My wife demanded that I “stop always talking about goddamned unicycles
> all the time” and as a result, I have almost nothing to say to her. Same
> with my kids.

You’re going to lose your family if you remain so obsessed. Your son has
only a limited number of baseball games until he’s grown up. You can Uni
for your whole life.

> Ironically, when I asked my psychotherapist about my unicycle obsession,
> he laughed and said that indeed it was normal, and that unicycling is
> very healthy.

Maybe he’s comparing you to people like murderers and father-rapers.

Since you asked this forum for advice, mine would be to find a balance and
think about what really important to you, and to your family.

Enjoy Unis, but don’t trade your family for a Coker.


Steveyo

I complained I needed new shoes, till I met a man with no feet.

Re: Re: Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

but baseball is pretty boring

Re: Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

I find the depression thing, and the fact that others have had similar experiences, interesting.

During a very harsh and long lasting depression I found the same thing- riding my uni (at that time a standard 20") made me happy.

And, unlike most such things, it continued to do so after many months, and had no bad side effects :slight_smile:

I sorted the depression out, so i know longer need this effect, but I still spend a hell of a lot of time unicycling, and one day may do a thread on the anti-depressent aspects of one wheeling.

IMO you do need to reflect on your situation, I think that buying a uni for your son when he wanted something very different is not a good thing.

And Lars unicycling book is good for those learning to unicycle, but not appropriate for an English class.

I’m single and have no children, which is good for a unicycle obsession, but, if Idid have a family I would consider an inability to talk to them to be an issue in need of working on.

Family relationships are fragile things that need cultivation, unicycling may be really good but it would be a real shame if it damages your family life.

Maybe life has something in common with unicycling- they both require balance.

Interesting that he has not replied yet? Wonder if his wife took him out. :astonished:

I wonder whether the original thread was serious, or a complete joke, or the truth, deliberately exaggerated for (comic?) effect. Whichever it was, it did raise some issues that some respondents have regarded as serious enough to warrant serious replies.

After many years as an occasional rider, I got “seriously into” unicycling at a time when I was sinking into a depression and had “issues” in my life.

I have a fairly obsessive personality - this may well be disproportionately common among unicyclists because to learn to ride well you need to overcome other people’s prejudice, and commit time and effort to learning. It’s not like joining a squash club, or watching football.

Unicycling is an exceptionally vigorous activity. Vigorous activity releases various chemicals in the body which can improve your mood, and which can be physically addictive. Endorphins improve your mood. Adrenaline can be addictive.

So, if you have an obsessive personality, and you start to unicycle regularly, you will get into what is known as a “virtuous circle” of riding, improving your mood, being more inclined to ride, improving your mood further, getting fitter, feeling better, riding more…

But this can go over the top and become a vicious circle: ride, be happy, talk too much about it, argue with wife, go for a ride to forget about it, come back to another argument, go for a morning ride, be late for work, be reprimanded by boss, ride the long way home to cheer yourself up, miss the kids’ ball game…

Any obsession taken to extremes can be a bad thing. If it starts to damage things that are important to you (your relationships, your family, your job…) and you fail to address that, then it will eventually put you in a position where a further bout of depression is likely (no job/promotion, rows at home, separation or divorce, etc.).

The behaviour described in the opening post on this thread, if taken at face value, is well on the way to this destructive level.

I’m not a qualified psychoanalyst or psychiatrist, but I have quite a strong interest (intellectual and personal) in such things, and it sounds like an extended manic phase in a cycle of manic depression to me.

And will me saying this help or hinder? It could do either, but I hope it helps. Please, if the opening post was literally true, try to back off a bit, and speak honestly to your therapist about it. In fact, show him/ her a printout of your post, unedited.

Mike.

If you drive people crazy talking about unicycles, how about you just SHUT UP AND RIDE the unicycles instead :wink:
Don’t buy unicycles for people who don’t want them. Buy them for yourself instead.
And if unicycling is hippieish, vote for Nader.

The replys I got from the post I made about obsessive unicycle behavior were proof that I am in excellent company with regards to the unicycle! I have always been shy about posting this kind of thing, but now I am glad I did, because every reply made me feel a bit less freakish.

Bugman–you are right, my wife did “take me out” – I showed her the post I made, and she laughed her head off. She said “I was wondering why you were acting normal today” She meant that sharing my obsession with other unicyclists via this forum, at least for the past 24 hours meant I wasn’t bothering my family about it.

Mikefule–you are right in that I wrote in a comical matter because I do think my obsession with unicycles is comical–but it is not a comedy I would share with the non-unicycle world because they would not understand–however, I do have a history of depression, and I was hospitalized for depression 10 years ago. I had a terrible nervous breakdown. It happens. I’m not ashamed of it, but it is not something I brag about either. In all truthfulness, after trying loads of antidepressents and not liking any of them, I have to be honest in saying that riding the unicycle has had a profound effect on me. Just 20 minutes on the unicycle is bettzer than any prozac (or any of the other numerous anti-depressants I’ve had througgh the last decade). My analyist won’t say that the unicycle has cured me, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that I no longer need anti-depressants (according to psychopharmacologists) since I have been riding the unicycle. But what you said about extende phase of manic depression could very well be true–I’ll ask my head shrinker what he thinks!

Thank you everyone for replying! You have all done me the fantastic favor of making me feel not so alone in this nutty fixation on unicycles.

And about my son–I neglected to mention that I only missed one of his baseball games due to the Big Apple tire–I did see all this others, and I felt so goddamned guilty about missing that one, that I won’t miss another.

…and as I write this, my son is playing his X-Box (Halo, which I also like). Through my manic (and I guess comical way of telling this story) I left out the part about buying him his x-box a few days later. I honestly thought he would prefer the Torker. Since I posted my story of uni-psychosis, I too saw how nutty (and selfish) this was, so I paid him the amount I paid for the Torker–he was really happy, but he still sulks at the thing–I still have some mending to do…

I still think my daughter’s boyfriend is a closet unicyclist–I can tell. But I’ll try to shut my mouth. And my Boss–this is a Coker rider if there ever was one–he just doesn’t know it yet…

And Bush/Kerry? I stand by my thoughts on this. I will vote for the one who will in some way improves the lot of us unicyclists. And you know what? The other day, I saw one of those pictures of Bush sawing trees in the country–this could be a MUni rider, you know. I don’t see Kerry as a MUni rider, but as a Trials rider, certainly. So it’s a toss up…Maybe I should do a poll on this question, or is it too silly?

Anyway, thank you all for replying! I am sorry if this is self-indulgent–I did not mean it to be, but I as just wondering if I was the only one who was deeply obsessed with unicycles.

Ted T. S. (Wheelie_big_wheel)

PS–please excuse the bad spelling–I did not put this through a spell check program

Just keep the obsession at a healthy level! To excel at anything, you need to be deeply committed. If you were deeply committed to distance running, or rowing, or squash, it would cause fewer “social” problems, just because these are “respectable” activities. Paula Radcliffe, Tiger Woods, Brian Lara, and so on, must all be obsessed with their sports to perform as well as they do.

The hobby of unicycling is (colloquially) “addictive”. At one time, I had a 20, 24, 26, 28 and Coker, a vintage (1959) 20, a small giraffe, an old 20, and an ultimate wheel. Now that I have my addiction under control, I’ve sold the 24!

I used to ride 4 or 5 nights a week, hard riding, and was several pounds lighter than I am now. People used to express concern that I had lost too much weight. I used to post 10 messages a day to this forum.

Now I ride once a week, sometimes more often, but sometimes less. A typical ride is a couple of hours long, but I do occasional longer rides. That’s a healthy level.

Of course, I’m also fencing two nights a week, and I never shut up about that (oops, there I go again) but that is a rather less solitary activity.

Enjoy your riding. Be self-aware. If you’ve been depressed before, it is always there in the background - like being an ex smoker, or recovering alcoholic. Recognise the signs, recognise the triggers, identify the behaviour patterns. Learn when to back off or try harder.

Mike

Re: Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 03:45:35 -0500, “Mikefule” wrote:

>I used to post 10 messages a day to this forum.

It’s dangerous to make that sort of statements when the group’s
statistician is listening in. You’ve been on an average of about 2 - 3
messages per day for quite a long time, with no big excursions - based
on the average per month. Granted, you may have had a few days with 10
messages posted - requires more work to check, but it’s not like you
‘used to post 10 messages per day’. Sorry to burst your bubble, but
you are (were) not THAT obsessive. :slight_smile:

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe