Ah, this is a great time of year. I know that Jan. 1 signals the “official” start of a new year. But for me there is something about September that signals the start of a new year. For me it is a time to think back over the past months and reflect on the good and the not-so-good. It is also a time of renewal – the warm days are dwindling along with the daylight so there is a tendency to set new expectations and goals, attempting to squeeze the most out of the days. Suppose this is why cyclo-cross fits so nicely. It kind of meshes with the feelings of renewal, change and excitement.
An opportunity to start fresh. Who knows what the season will hold? Kind of like starting Grade 7 – not sure what it will be like at the new school. A feeling of excitement and fear all wrapped up together in a fun little package.
Suffice it to say, this is how I’m feeling. Can’t wait for the first race to get here but also feeling a bit nervous. This is good. This is the way I should be feeling. I’ve got to say I am loving riding my ‘cross bike. Nice just to jump on it and hit up the trails or do some drills with the flags. My brain simply relaxes and I’m in my groove. My mind doesn’t drift to my endless supply of “to do” lists, things I should do, things I better do, etc. Rather I just ride. Focusing on the trail, the trees, the roots, the rocks, the birds. Really the feelings that brought me back to cycling after a long hiatus.
It was my discovery of mountain biking in 2004 that has brought me to where I am now. After years of playing competitive hockey, training for taekwon-do and running, I realized I missed nature. So I bought a mountain bike and re-ignited my passion for the bike. I spent a summer messing around on my trusty mountain bike. And then of course ebbed into racing cyclo-cross again. And now here I am. Feeling like I’m sitting on the cusp of a season that has the potential to be huge.
I’ve got a solid season of racing mapped out. I’m feeling good. I’m learning how to handle my self-imposed stressors and expectations. Results are important. Really important. But so is a smile on my face before, during, and after the race. Can’t hardly wait for the butterflies.
On another note, my Ottawa Cross clothing arrived on Friday. Minutes before we left for Chris Thater, the FedEx man arrived with my box of clothing. Dudes, the kit is sharp. Massive thanks to Steve for his awesome graphics work. (I predict some baked goods in your future…) I’m loving all the clothing I ordered this year. Thanks to the generosity of Champion Systems, I was able to skirt the minimums and order exactly what I wanted. New this year for the Ottawa Cross kit are shorts, full-length thermal big tights, long sleeve jersey (thermal and lightweight), and a superfly jacket.
Gee, really feels like the start of a new school year: I’ve got new shoes, new clothing, new bikes, new helmet, new glasses and a new outlook. I’m all set. See you on Sept. 19th.