On Self-Doubt

It seems to happen ever so slowly. Sneaking up very quietly. When you’re not watching. All of a sudden it’s in your head and you can’t shake it. You talk to yourself about it. You think about it. You know it’s not rational. But still you can’t shake it. It eats at you. It starts to consume you. It percolates into everything you do. Suddenly you’re stuck. You can’t move. You feel like you’ve lost it. You’re scrambling. You don’t know what to do.

Guess what? You’re human. This happens to everyone. (Why do you think I’m writing about it? Why do you think it’s been so long since my last blog post?)

Goddamned self-doubt. No matter what I say or do, it’s there. Like a big black cloud, ready to erupt and soak through to the bone. I trust in the process. I know there’s a plan. But still. I’ve got it eating at me. My numbers. Oh the numbers. The damn numbers. I need more watts. I need less kilos. I need. I need.

Really? Do I really need this? Why not just be so thrilled to be pedaling? Why not be ecstatic about the freedom to ride? Why is this not enough? Because I’m human. I want. I want. I want more. I want to be the best I can be.

Am I doing enough? Should I do more yoga? Should I rest more? What if I eat less carbs? Maybe I need to read about fat adaptation? Maybe I should take some different supplements? Maybe my saddle is not in the exact right spot? How can I make my technique better and smoother? How? How?

Yes, that self-doubt is there. It’s around me. But all I can do is all I can do. (A smart guy keeps telling me this.) But sometimes it isn’t enough. I’m smart – I know this stuff. But still.

It’s tempting to pack it in. To modify the goals. To adjust my expectations. But then what? What have I got? What am I doing?

It’s silly yes. I know this. But I can’t help it. I wonder if everyone feels like this? Or maybe I’m the only one? Do other people line up and feel like they’re either going to barf or crap their shorts? Am I the only one questioning if I’m strong enough? If I’m fast enough? If I’m ever going to be thin enough? If these damned shorts make my legs look massive? If today will be the day when I just feel good out there?

Where does that confidence that the others have come from? What are they doing to get this confidence? I need. I want. Please?

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