And every day it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And every day it sucks. And every time I am the worst. And every day it’s too hot and I’m too thirsty and my legs are too tired and I want to turn around. And every Monday morning at training I want to quit. I want to throw up. I want to cry. I want to keel over. I want to leave this to cyclists who know what they are doing. I want to stop. Stop. Stop. Now. I did this too early. I did this too soon. I only started cycling last year. And I am defeated in this training.
But, every time, with the sun and the grass and the wind and it’s so effing beautiful out there on a road on this exquisite bike and you are not intellect or a brain or thought, you are machine and you are moving and you are going faster than you thought you could and you are in a pace line and you are a cog and you are movement and you are moving, moving, moving. You are. Going. Fast. Now.
This is being the least experienced, the least fit, the least knowledgeable, the least confident. This is being that red lantern that gets dropped five times on a ride. This is being in the middle of farm fields by yourself and telling your legs to keep going, telling yourself to keep going even though you want to stop because you are so embarrassed that you could be this terrible. This is your coach slowing down behind everyone else and letting you hop on his wheel and telling you strategy and telling you how it is and his words are pure and simple and they cool your nerves. This is you getting to the stop sign where your teammates are and them not making fun of you, but rather congratulating you. This is your teammate bringing you espresso goo because she is kind and good and smart. This is for the camaraderie that is only found on a team. This is for that admiration, adoration, acceleration that comes with being on Nickel City Cycles.
So, for all this rot I talk about myself you’d think I’d be this weak meak mite of a person, but you’re wrong. I’m strong. I’m so strong because of this weakness. I am so strong because I am doing something so hard for me. I find strength in learning to defeat my weakness. It’s the survivors that know the depths of their strength. It’s those who keep going and push themselves and their minds are empty of confusion. They are muscle and movement and moments colliding together to create now. Just now.
This is what it means to compete. I am in competition with the self that tells me I can’t. I am competing with the self that tells me I am weak. I am competing with the self that tells me to give this up. I am in this competition. And. I will win.