Sunday, February 1, 2015

An Exercise in Frustration, or a Lack Thereof

I haven't posted since Gila 2013.  First off, funny that I mark my calendar by races rather than by a month, date, time, hell even a moon phase feels like it would be more relevant to the world around me.  I guess not so much funny as indicative of how influential racing has been in my life.  That said, damn, cycling can be a bitch.  I left off my last post with a lot of cliches and sap, I figured I might as well pick up where I left off.

Cycling is tough, it's given me a lot of good things, and I can't sit here and write that it's taken a lot away from me, when it really hasn't and when there are kids out there that I know would give an arm and a leg to have gotten the opportunities I have.  Some would probably give a lot more, maybe a kidney since you only need one.  That said, I feel like cycling has chewed me up and spit me out, for the time being.  It's not the first time, but my self centered memory is typically just a few months long, it's easy to forget all I've gotten out of it in lieu of a couple moments of frustration.  It just shows how fickle we, or more accurately, I, can be.

Overall cycling is treating me well, very well.  I'm shoulders deep in the coaching pool now, and fighting to establish myself there.  It feels a bit weird being a 23 year old, who 15 months ago considered himself an up and comer, to be sitting with guys in there 30's and 40's that are done and past racing and coaching is their all.  I think a lot of people may look at me and say I shouldn't be there yet, but the reality is that I am, and I'm happy about it.  I am loving the coaching, and looking to get involved with as many projects as I can.  I remember how hungry I was coming up, and I want to be right back there, but on the other side of the equation, feeding that hunger.

I've gone on a bit of a tangent here, but it's good, well that's good.  As to my own frustrations, it's just injury.  Just, injury.  It sounds so simple, so clean.  Just rest, you idiot, why don't you go see a physical therapist, maybe you just need to foam roll more.  Do you stretch regularly?  Shit, if I haven't heard all that a thousand times before.  I'm not going to lie, I'm not past it, for all intents and purposes.  I'm happy with coaching being my focus.  But, I'm not happy with my body.  It's nothing but frustration, dealing with this, and I'd be lying if I said that I was totally happy with cycling right now.  As much as I try to put it behind me, it's hard to.  I don't care if I never pin a number on again, but I just want to ride a bike.  I haven't ridden over an hour since Thanksgiving at this point, and I've only scraped the one hour mark at all a few times.  Mostly it's been a routine of forty-five minutes spent stretching, doing some exercises, kitting up, getting excited because I've convinced myself that this ride will be the breakthrough one.  Then I'm pulled over on the side of the road five minutes after having rolled out the door, trying to decide whether I want to throw my bike off the left side of the road or the right.  I hate to sit here and complain about my own problems, but misery loves company right, and this blog will have to do.

I hit those feelings for moments, but then I've been lucky enough to get a bit of perspective.  I'll go into the office tomorrow and get to look at everybody's files from the weekend.  That may sound like a circle of hell to some, but to anybody who really knows me they know it pretty much can't get better for me.  But for a moment here, in lieu of sleep, it feels good to let out my frustrations.  I've been trying to keep my injuries a secret for months now, and finally I don't have to.  I've come clean with my team, and the pressure is off.  To be honest it feels amazing.  There's always something bigger on the horizon.  And as much as I want to give sage advice to up and coming young riders to focus on the big picture, and not the (many) little bumps along the way, I need the advice just as much myself.