I find myself in a good place. I am beginning to feel lighter, stronger, even…faster on the bike. It seems it has been an eternity since I last felt anything close to that. The summer of 2008 was the summer of sludge and resistance, like somehow gravity had in store for me a cruel trick, an extra burden. There were only s many times I could rationally blame wheel or bottom bracket drag for that heaviness, as if I were riding on Jupiter.
By no means am I where I want to be. I want to be lighter, and much, much faster. But of course, who doesn’t?
And so I continue that chase. Pedaling, spinning, and not eating my way to better overall fitness. Hopefully dropping body mass behind me as I go. I knew I was in trouble when sometime around August I started to feel added mass around my mid section when I bent at the waist. It was as if I had developed pockets, and someone had stuffed gel packs into them.
Perhaps though the most dramatic improvement has been in my energy levels. I feel better at night, and better in the morning. I still get a post-lunch lull, but its nothing a quick walk to the grocery store and an apple or orange or diet coke can’t solve.
So, while my wife will mock me for saying so, I think that now a full six months after my sleep schedule was turned upside down and decimated, I can finally say that I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And what is that light revealing?
I can only catch glimpses at this point. But I see long summer days, and long summer rides. I see the Wasatch Classic and the American Mountain Classic. I see the desert and the pine and the summer snow pack. I see bar-b-ques and fireworks and warm starry nights.
I see life.
I do not think that it is coincidence that I have felt this way in the wake of Camp Lynda. The energy that emanates from the people there is contagious. It always has been. But I knew my psyche and my life were changing last year, when among the usual suspects at the KTR that I was unable to tap into that mojo. It was a cold feeling. Lonely.
It was liberating and relieving when standing among everyone on the first morning of camp that I felt that energy seep through my mind and body once again.
And now, as January passes, and 2009 starts to roll into high gear I feel a great sense of optimism and excitement. I may never be as fast or as able as I have been in the past. I may never have the freedom to be as ambitious as I have been. But I don’t have to know that. Or at least, I don’t have to acknowledge it. What I mean is that I will be as ambitious and as exploratory has I have ever been. At least in the delusional Quixote-esque reality playing out in my mind.
And so, like my ‘about page’ has always said:
I’m 31 years old. I have a wife, 5 kids, and delusions of grandeur about mountain bike racing.
And frankly, I would not have it any other way.
bradkeyesJanuary 30, 2009
Dude, you’re torturing me with that picture.
GregJanuary 31, 2009
so pretty sure i need to ride that before i die
grannygearJanuary 31, 2009
Very nice pic. That deserves a fat, rolling set of tires.