We all work so hard and manage our own versions of the three part teeter totter. It’s who we are and what we do. Week in and week out. Round and round…or up and down as the teeter totters. We…eat, work, contrive a smile, work, eat, am i getting a cold?, try to stay sane, be present with our kids and loved ones, work, stress, don't eat that cookie…OK just one, work, sleep, wake, eat…and so it goes all week thinking of the weekend ahead, the weather in the forecast and the venue that will allow us to release ourselves and purge the demons over barriers, up hills, on sweet trails and on great rubber.
But there has to be more. There is life beyond our self-centered universes. Right?
For each day you spend in this vicious cycle, a bit of distance grows between you and what is important. For me that is obviously my family and friends. How many times are you driving or on the bus and you have your cell phone in hand, see a name of your friend in your contacts list and don't hit ‘call’ to say hello. “Ahh, I’ll give him a buzz tomorrow.” And tomorrow turns to weeks. How often are you avoiding obligations that could ‘interfere with your legs-up time’ and before you know it, opportunities to connect with neighbors is wasted. It’s a tough balance.
This Thanksgiving week brought a lot of that to the surface for me personally. Our dearest family friends, the Balls, came into town to celebrate what is becoming our collective ‘tradition’. We all looked forward to this for weeks if not months. Joe is the one responsible for my ‘cross fixation having effectively taught me everything I know back when we lived in SF, pre-kids, careers just starting. So lots of talk of ‘cross would happen this Thanksgiving. Lots of beers downed. Lots of laughs had all the while our children getting to play together like cousins. But alas, we virtually ALL got sick with a vicious flu. Down like dominoes we went one by one. You could imagine how the moods would spiral into the darkness. I found myself going there fast. Bitter. Snapping at my boys. Patience completely lost. Bummed that I am going to finally go down the sickness path I’d been avoiding like a hypochondriac all season so I dare not miss a single one of my races. Digressing into a vinegar-filled little boy.
And then it hit me: Stu Thorne is not waiting with baited anticipation for the ‘right moment’ to call me and beg me to come race with TJ and JPows on his team with a large six figure contract and free Dugasts for life.
Life happens people (and yes, I’m telling myself this too). My friends being in my house this Thanksgiving, spending priceless time together even while we’re all sick, was such a great reminder of ‘life’. Real honest to goodness life. Laughs still happening even while vomiting in syncopation because you’re in such proximity of your close ‘family' having such needed time together.
Relax. Try your best in everything you care about and do what you can to maintain happiness. Holding on too tight merely strangles the life out of anything good. I generally do this….but I have to remind myself (or get reminded) of my idiocy from time to time. It’s hard though, because I love it all so much.
So with that diatribe known above, the weekend had some great racing action and I needed to let things roll off my back. I was simply out of commission and I relaxed and simply…forgot about racing! While Friday was spent in bed almost the whole day, Saturday was spent resting and re-entering civilization. If I felt semi-alive Sunday, I’d go and race in Golden at the RVV race.
Sunday came and when my eyes cracked open while still in bed, I did one of those full ‘body scans’: Do I have that fever? Is my stomach still in knots? Do I have to rush to the toilet? Luckily, I felt fairly alive.
I made the drive down to Golden and figured I’d do a hot lap and then make a decision. The gut still sort of ached but the legs felt decent yet the course Clay Harris and the RVV crew created was too irresistible to pass up. Honestly, it was too fun to say no to. Thus the decision was made to stay and go and race in the blissful sun.
I won’t bore you with the blow by blow of my 35 A’s race. It was another top 10 (10th), fought hard for, with not enough power to stay with the chase group trying to nab Jon and Timmy, but enough power and flow to keep the wolves at bay trying to take me back. No complaints.
What I will spend time on though was the course:
Grass, sand, perfect grade climbs and fun rolling and flowy paths to put the hammer down on. They also injected a set of steep man made stairs to get your Belgie on which was super fun.
So, the ‘official’ season is almost done. CO States is this coming weekend. I’m feeling better and still excited to race…albeit with a reminder of what I am doing and why I do it. I pan across my group of racing compatriots…virtually every one of us…with more-than-full-time gigs, a gaggle of kids, tons of obligations…all of us balancing. And I smile. I can’t be the only knob stressing about these things, can I?
Nah. I’m not the only one who overlooks the obvious on occasion.
OK, maybe I do a little more…
Oh, and if you made it this far, here's a vide encapsulation of EXACTLY what I am talking about above.