For my art class, I had to make a postcard from my current self to my future self. I chose to write to myself in March of next year. This is when I will begin racing again and when I will get my custom bike from Nickel City Cycles, my team. I am naming this bike “Athena” and for my art project, I used a photocopy of an owl I have from Athena’s temple in Greece. The funny thing is that when I wrote the date on the postcard I actually wrote March of last year, so without consciously being away of it, I was sending this postcard to my past self. I realized I am already the future self I intended to be.
This blog is supposed to be about failing. Well, that’s the thing. It’s supposed to be about failing, but I’ve come to realize: it’s not about failing at all. It’s about winning. It’s about succeeding. It’s about doing what I can do and pushing myself out of my moments of comfort. It’s about being the person I want to be. It’s about biking, but it’s about so much more than biking.
Since I have started this biking blog, I have lost over and over again. I have never set foot on a podium.
Since, I have won a fiction award, I have gotten into a fiction and poetry MFA program and I have gotten to write for a professional cyclist’s website. This, to me, is not failing.
Since I have started this biking blog, I have been hit by a car but continued to bike. I have joined Nickel City Cycles. I have competed in road, criterium and circuit races. Since starting this blog, I have gone mountain biking. I have ridden at night in the dark. I have climbed hills at cyclofemme. I have biked from Amherst to Wilson, NY by myself. This, to me, is not failing.
I am writing to you to tell you to risk something. I’m writing to you to tell you to try something that you think you’re going to fail. I’m writing to tell you that you will fail. In so many ways, you will fail but there will come a time, when you will realize, you have gotten something so tremendously wonderful out of this experience and this will nearly make you want to cry and in this way, you will know, that there is very little you cannot do in this world.
I don’t know what I think of the blog as a form of art. I think in some ways it is kind of strange, but in other ways, it is so perfect. It is me writing to you and you writing to me. In the course of this journey, people have actually started following this blog. I have gotten all sorts of comments from people. From a professional cyclist in France to a woman whose son has Autism to many people who seemed to be interested in motivation and hope. I have also received numerous comments from my own community here in Buffalo, New York. These comments are, quite honestly, what have kept me going.
My friend the other day told me, “You haven’t written for a post in a while.” This seems to be the biggest motivation of all: someone is actually reading what I am writing. They actually seem to want to read more of it.
My next step in the next few months will be to chronicle my winter training ups and downs. There was a moment in this last month which I thought I might stop this project, but I have decided to keep going. I need this in my life. I need to document this experience.
As a writer, I mostly write alone and send out my work and then wait for the rejection letter. This, it seems, is part of a creative lifestyle. This blog to me has immediate response and encouragement. It is completely different than all other writing in my life.
So, to anyone reading this now, thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read these thoughts. When I hear from you, I feel that the world is a little closer, a little more comfortable. There is order.
Thank you for reading. I am so excited to continue to write this journey.