On Monday I was chilling out on my yoga mat before class when a lady came up to me and asked “Are you the cyclist? How did it go?”. I realized that she thought I hadn’t been around the yoga studio since April because I was away racing… So I told her that I hadn’t been racing – that my race season really started in September but I’ve been sick and can’t race right now. I did my best to sound positive about everything – even while explaining ulcerative colitis. This lady listened closely to everything I said and responded with “Hmm, so I guess you’re very sad. But there are others thing you can do – like inspire others.” I think I instantly blushed and smiled.
Normally, I don’t want to talk to anyone before yoga class – I like to chill out and slow my brain down before the yoga session starts. But on this day, this conversation was spot on.
I realized that I have been sad. And I have been angry. I haven’t been dealing with the emotions very well. I’ve tried to ignore them. I’ve tried to mask them. I’ve taken my anger and sadness out on those (primarily Marc) around me.
It has taken time but I realize that I have nothing to feel sad or angry about. I am still racing – it is simply not the racing I had “planned” on doing. Wishing or obsessing about the races that I “should” be doing takes away from what I’m doing now. This past Sunday during the drive to Logosland for my race, all I could do was think about my friends who had just finished racing at the Tabor World Cup. I was obsessively checking Twitter for results and feeling kind of rotten. Not good.
I’m working hard on appreciating the here and now. I get to race my bike every Sunday with a very friendly and competitive group of women. I get to watch young kids race their bikes and listen to them talk about the races afterwards. I get to watch Marc race and cheer him on (something I don’t normally get to do). I get to hang out and enjoy the cyclocross scene and I don’t need to worry about a recovery ride, protein drinks, and my upcoming race/travel schedule. I’m having fun and enjoying the bike for what it is.
In between all this I’m doing some running (darn ITB pain…), thinking about skate skiing, getting back into a regular yoga practice, reading a lot, relaxing at home and doing things I haven’t been able to do in a long while. There is no time or reason to feel sad or angry – I’ve got a lot of good stuff going on.
I’m still the cyclist. Just not the cyclist I was before. I’m a different cyclist right now. And this is perfectly alright.