Struggle. That’s really the only world I can come up with to describe the last year of my life. I mean, let’s be honest, life in and of itself is a “struggle”. Have you ever seen a fish out of water? Have you ever felt like you can’t get enough air? Your body tenses up, your eyes bulge in fear, and you desperately search for a way back to the ocean. Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don’t.
My bike is that ocean. Sometimes I ride it, and lately, sometimes I don’t.
It’s so easy to stay motivated when you’re racing. A race is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. It’s a way to keep you honest about your training. A ‘weekend warrior’ race schedule is exhausting, but so amazingly fulfilling. It gave me the push and focus I needed to train through the week, as well as something to look forward to.
And we all know what I’ve been doing the last month. Not a damn thing.
Ok, so maybe that’s not entirely true. I HAVE been riding the ever-loving shit out of my bike. In fact, I’ve been doing some pretty legit rides (solo, I might add). I’m not riding every day, and sometimes I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING after work, so I don’t. As much as I love racing, it’s not my job. For those of us living like Clark Kent, bike racing is like having a second job, but we don’t actually get paid for it.
So, I rode the wave for a while. I was super stoked to ride one day, and didn’t even give it a second thought the next. One week I rode 200 miles. The next week I barely got in 90. I know it’s not always easy for the pros, but it’s not exactly unicorns and rainbows for the amateurs, either.
Having the courage to get on a bike in the midst of the hustle…now that’s admirable.
I’m not perfect. I don’t always follow my training plan. Sometimes I feel like giving up all together. There’s just something about a bicycle that won’t let me go, no matter how far I stray. There’s just something about our connection…my freedom…the pain. That shit gets me every time. It keeps me breathing, even when I can’t.