I asked a friend today, “How do you race your bike when your heart’s just not in it?” He replied, “With your legs.” So that’s what I did.
For those 40 minutes I could only think about 3 things:
#1 The physical pain I was in.
#2 How hard it was to breathe.
#3 “When will that fucking clock say 40 minutes?!”
No sense in boring you with the details. Not much to talk about other than how bad I wanted to quit after 12 minutes. I just remember looking at the clock and thinking I was going to pull myself. Something kept me in that race. Maybe it was the Hoffenchard boys on the sidelines, and the fact they would never let me live it down if I had quit. Maybe I wanted to forget how hard things were outside of bike racing, if only for 40 minutes. Maybe I wanted to feel something other than my own heart. All possible. All probable. And I won a prime. Car wash, baby.
Another friendly reminder from a fellow bike racer… “…get your shit together.” So maybe I need to actually take his advice? Maybe I need to pick up my boot straps and keep moving? Maybe I need to funnel all this negative energy into something I can work with…like ‘cross season? It sounds easy and beautiful and perfectly perfect, but can I even do that? I’m fine now, but in five minutes I may not be, and there’s no promises. There’s never any promises. You just have to hold on as tight as you can when it’s good, and do your best not to lose your shit when it goes bad. If I focus on bike racing, I won’t have time to feel just how terrible this feels.
Bike racing needs to win. The Tour de Peanut has started.