I didn’t race in Sherbrooke last weekend at the Canadian Cyclocross National Championships. I had planned to race. I had big goals for the race. I realized in the summer that my goals would have to be put on hold. This is life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.
Instead of racing, I was in Sherbrooke cheering, supporting, encouraging and hanging out. While it’s not quite the same as lining up and giving it my all for 40 minutes, the weekend was still special.
Watching Marc and my friends race was as good as being on the start line myself. I saw them push through uncertainty and fear. I watched them test their limits and discover how far they can go. I got to see the light in their eyes after having an amazing race. I got to hear about how they rode the muddy corners, attacked the sand, approached the off-cambers, and drilled it up the climbs. We talked about next year and how to get faster and smoother.
This for me was just as good as racing.
It inspired me. It reminded me how much I love racing my bike. It forced me to remember how good it feels to get through the tough stuff and come out on the other side. It brought me back to why I got hooked on racing my bike.
Next year in 2017 I want to be there on the start line. There is no other goal. Just lining up is enough now. This is not complacency. It’s finally understanding that the racing is about so much more than the result on the sheet.
It’s about how you race and how you feel about yourself afterwards.