Thanks so much for the kind comments, emails, posts on Facebook and Twitter in response to my post last week. To say last week was a hard week would be an understatement. I’ve had a feeling for a while now that the 2012-2013 cyclo-cross season would not be happening for me but until I emailed my sponsors and posted on my website, it just didn’t seem “real”.
I’ve had days when I’ve felt sorry for myself. Days when I’ve been downright angry at the world. Days when I feel super good and decide to take up trail running or register for the BC Bike Race. Yes, a roller coaster is what I’ve been riding lately. For so many years now I’ve self-identified as being an athlete. And now, well now I’m not sure who I am. Yes, I know that deep down I’m still the same person but without having my cycling goals and dreams driving me, I’m struggling to find something to get me as equally inspired.
Going through this helps me understand why many athletes keep competing well past their prime – it is hard to know what to do when the bike is put away or the hockey stick is finally put down. Now I know that I’ve got so many other awesome things in my life and of course many other interests but for so long, these have really taken a back seat to my driving passion – racing my cyclo-cross bike. From what I ate to what we did on the weekend to how we planned our “holidays” to the job I had – everything was centred around cyclo-cross.
It is strange I have lots of free time now since my evenings are not spent pounding out intervals on Malakoff Road and my weekends are not spent on four and five hour rides or hours spent in the woods working on cyclo-cross technique. You’d think I’d be super busy now and be filling up my time with other interests. Sadly this has not happened. I feel like I’m in limbo – secretly hoping that I’ll wake up tomorrow and my ulcerative colitis will have gone into remission and I can get back to my life. I’ve got things I want to do but they’re all on hold until I’m healthy again. Yes, I have some interesting writing projects that are almost done – but frankly there is only so much time I can spend in front of the computer.
This is where I would normally write something like “well, no more of this wallowing and waiting for something to happen (remission) which I know isn’t going to happen anytime soon – it is time to get busy and take action”… Well, guess what I’m not going to do this. I don’t think I’m ready. I’m learning that I actually need to go through a few stages mentally and emotionally before I’m ready to get “busy” again. I’m through the anger stage. I think I’m through the grief stage. I’m not sure what the next stage is – maybe false hope or disbelief?
For now, well I’m going to head out on my road bike for a nice and gentle road ride. I may look at my power meter – I may not. I’ll be listening to some of my favourite music (likely my 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season warm-up playlist) and podcasts. On Sunday I’m heading out for a ride with a young whippersnapper of a rider – we’re taking our cyclo-cross bikes out for some trail riding in my favourite training grounds – I hope I can keep up with this young speedster.
I’m going to be okay. It is tough. Damn tough. But it will work out. Life is not all about the bike but darn if it isn’t a huge part of my life. Everyone should be so lucky.