Monday, May 17, 2010

A Bit of Clarity

This past weekend was a good one. Saturday morning I set out for an early morning road ride. I wanted to get some miles in my legs in preparation (or consideration) for a ride I want to do this coming Saturday (it's a memorial ride for a deceased rider on my current team that I've mentioned previously).  Bright and early, and off I went toward the roads south of Yankee woods. The roads I frequented when I raced/road with the South Chicago Wheelmen. I did see one of them and exchanged a friendly wave, but I don't think he recognized me... I met up with a rider about half way out and he asked to tag along, so off we went. As the time passed and the conversation turned to riding and racing it turns out he knows guys I rode with years ago. The same guys that formed the tight nit click that road together back then. Small world, but then again cycling in the US is a small world already. It was cool to relate nonetheless. Where I usually start making my way back home I decided to add part of my 20 mile hilly loop for some extra time and miles. Felt good to be out there. Clarity comes at times such as this, more so than any other time it seems. I was riding long, I was LOVING it. I felt perfectly setup on the bike, all the recent tweaks I made made me feel like I am sitting in my sweet spot. IT"S MAGICAL when you get it all figured out, and the riding is smooth and (in my head) pro-like because the OCD that inflicts your riding world shows results LOL. I realized that I am riding for the love of the bike, for the love of the ride. All self doubts about being over my head with my involvement with something that I can't or (choose not to) live up to based possibly on crazy self expectations went by the wayside. I'm riding because it is part of me. Sure I may not be with and where I want to be, but that no longer matters. I am not living up to anything other than the fact I can ride. No more freakin over not being able to race as much as I think I'm supposed to. Family comes first. Thats gospel... No more thinking I'm in over my head, and inferior. I'm as good as I will be able to get, family, physical, pshychologicall (LOL)limitations and all. I will continue to work in the pain cave, and do everything I can to improve upon my own performance. It's all about me, and the love of the bike... It's crazy how that inner voice can really FCUK with you. I've realized that  lately. So I did 70 miles Saturday. It was a neccessary ride to put things into perspective and remind me why I ride. I ride for me, and the love of the bike. It's a positive moral boost when you can head out and knock out a 70 miler like that without having the base miles (I think) everybody else I'm involved with(team) does. I'm still well under 1000 miles, and that's just how it is...
This week I'm hoping to ride with a local group that I've not been able to hook up with because of my involvement in coaching one of my boys Soccer teams this spring. Their rides and spring soccer games during the week have made it impossible so far to meet up. We're in the playoffs and that is AWESOME, and it's SOOO rewarding to be involved with my kids as often as I can , and when they want me to be. I've already experienced that as they get older they don't want to do as much with you, and I CAN'T miss out on any opportunities if I can help it, and it will stay a priority.
I really want to get myself aquainted with these local riders, they are close by and the few times I've hooked up with them and traded emails they've been very cordial - A nice group of locals. That's the goal when I no longer have coaching obligations.  Saturday I plan on getting together up north with my current team. I feel it's important to ride with them (it's been impossible) and this memorial LOOOONG ride looks to be just the reason to make it happen. For a number of reasons.
 So it's been a season in turmoil mostly because of my unrealistic expectations on what I think I should be doing, and what I can do based on what I feel is important in my life right now,but realistically I've finally realized that what I should be doing is ride, when I can, and let everything else fall into place....
Like I told my gal while we were out Friday night, it's not a question of if I will continue to race and ride, it's how. Living a healthy lifestyle and doing something like this is a pretty good way in being a role model to my kids and family (and even neighbors and friends to a lesser extent) but the bottom line is I will ride for the love of the bike...
(and to think no Dr.couch, medications, or therapy costs were involved with this - and I feel better ;) )

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