Almost a year ago exactly, I wrote a post. And re-reading it this week it made me smile. Oh, and I rolled my own eyes a bit as well at my own idiocy. I had the the type of moment reading it where I saw my own pattern of tail chasing and I questioned lots.
Bike racing for me as of late was becoming a chore. A fairly large void where I was heaving tons of my own energy, emotion, money and of course free time into. Bike racing is hard and it is a
sport lifestyle where what you put in you get out. And yet the system doesn’t operate like an ATM. Card in/cash out. It’s much more discerning over its participants than that.
It all seemed to spin sideways as of late culminating in questions of what am I up to.
My own zeal for balance the last month is flying in the breeze like a tattered old flag. A once proud standard whose colors are fading and nearly unrecognizable for what they were intended to represent. I read a post recently from my friend Jonny in New England who is even more deeply questioning his motives as of late. Or posts about fit Masters losing their lives in pursuit of what they love. But pushing these extreme examples aside, why move forward? I am Type A (++++ …there I said it out loud) and want to crush it in most everything I do in this life and is likely the inner burning core having kept me pinning numbers on weekend in and out for more than a decade in this game of ours. Wanting to raise my own hands again like I’d done in the past. Assure my own fragile ego that I can still go and go well. Be one of the ‘fast guys’.
But is that it?
I wear my heart on my sleeve as everyone knows. My moping around and 1/2 training these last few weeks were obvious to my friends and family. Blah blah blah…not going well. Blah blah blah…such and such an injury. Blah blah blah…too much stress with building a business and not knowing if you’re gonna make it.
“So, are you going to hang it up this season?” I was asked. I would have asked me the same thing…mainly so I could shut me up hearing my blah bah blahs.
And then it popped into my mind so suddenly. So clearly and obviously.
“Dude, fuck no man!” My response was undeniable. Clear. Instinctive. Refreshing for my own ears to hear. “What would my kids think?” I continued.
My racing has sucked this past month. So what. My friends are the best on earth, and honestly, they have their own life stuff to deal with and somehow they continue to push on and come back every weekend. Some winning. Some smiling coming in mid pack. I am not racing for me any more. I am slaving in the cold, compartmentalizing my work and other aspects of my life so I can be positive. So I can stay true to the
sport community which my sons are falling in love with it and remain positive for the boys and girls I help coach at Boulder Junior Cycling. So I can stay true to an ideal of sticking with it. Not yielding when the only thing that is getting damaged is ego.
In the end, you train through. You continue to push if you love something and you fundamentally think it is worth your efforts. And I do. How I do. I do not know if I will ever win a bike race again. And I don’t care. I need to satisfy my own deep desire to ride perfect for myself. To finish as best I can and let my boys see that. My parenting is not perfect. My patience often paper thin which is my own known focal point I need to work on when raising my boys. But if I can do anything now, I can show them that giving up due to virtually no good reason is just not an option. You commit, you bite the bullet. You carry on and try to do your best and improve.
I have put Castle Rock and my other bad performances behind. It’s time to just ride. To go hard. To feel where I am in the grand scheme and push. To come across the finish line and not immediately determine my place…but where my sons eyes are.