Turning the Corner
[Dodgy iPhone photo by Olivia Bleitz. What better way to celebrate corner-turning than with a nerdy photo vest and a row of porta-potties?]
If you’ve been reading my weekly training updates for Peloton Magazine, you may have picked up on a certain darkness there. I’ve been heady, agitated, worried and a little depressed.
I haven’t been riding well. I’ve been sick. I’ve been tired. I’ve been stressed out.
Not riding well is no big deal when you’re just dicking around getting ready for ‘cross season, but when you’re about to fly across the world and try to ride the hardest three-week bike ride you can possibly imagine (with a truckload of sponsors and media watching to see if you’re going to fall flat on your face), it’s cause for some serious concern.
An undertaking of this size leaves room for nothing else of significance to occur during the same time frame. No major life drama, no moving, no family strife, no serious illness, no relationship problems, nothing. I do not have time for any of that shit this year. So I placed a ban on it all.
Sometimes this means plugging my ears and singing, “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA”. So be it.
Today I rode. I rode hard and with purpose. I rode long and got some quality work done. I rode like I know how to ride and my legs felt like my own. My body was filled with calm and strength and all of those familiar feelings that have escaped me for more than 5 weeks.
I rode for 5 hours and when I was done, I was tired the way you’re supposed to be tired: legs a little achy from the efforts, a little hungry. I didn’t feel like I’d been hollowed out and discarded. I didn’t feel like I needed to sleep for 10 hours. I didn’t feel like I never wanted to see my bike again. I felt tired. Good and tired. And ready to recover. Ready to ride again in the morning. Even further.
I made a shake. I made a meal. I put on heels and a dress and a big-assed hat and a dangerous pair of earrings and went out to run some errands.
I’ve got purply-violet fingernails and a frame pump lashed to my super-top-secret 15-pound Cannondale pony.
I’m back. And I’m feeling feisty.
The world’s been warned.