Hey readers, it's almost July. The last time I posted was directly after nationals, 2 weeks later I wrote up another blog post I never posted, because I never really finished it. Actually to be honest, I have 7 unfinished posts. I was going to go back and re-read them, and then condense them all into one post to give you an update on my life. But after reading this particular un-posted post, I decided I needed to copy and paste it here. Remember, I wrote this 2 weeks post nationals in January, and it is unfinished.
I'm finally crawling (on my hands and knees) out of my emotional pity party. When I returned home from CX Nats I had to stay away from social media. I didn't check Facebook, I stayed off of Twitter and Instagram. It hurt too much to see the posts about Nationals. Eventually, I was able to get onto Facebook and just ignore the National posts, as long as I scrolled fast enough if I saw something bike related, I would be okay. This becomes a problem once you realize nearly all your Facebook friends somehow relate to bikes. I healed past that emotional black hole, and for the first time today, I looked up the results and watched a few post race interviews (of my favorite people) on Cyclingdirt. I know it seems I should be over it by now, but nearly 10months of preparation (plus thoughts), 4 months of racing, and thousands of miles travelled, it's hard to disregard 1 race in just a matter of days.
I want to reflect a little on my season. I haven't had the chance to step back and look at the whole picture of the season. I had some highs and lows (as always), but mostly highs. When I first started racing cyclocross I did it because everyone around me was, then I caught the bug, and all I could think about was cyclocross. I rode my bike because...I liked riding my bike. Every year I progressed and got a little faster, but I never believed (or even had dreams) of being where I am now. I never had ambitions of lining up at Elite cyclocross nationals. Naturally, I am a person who always wants to do better than last time, I guess you could say I'm competitive. I have never excelled so quickly in a sport before, like I have in cyclocross, and this has continued to motivate me throughout the years. Once I realized where my racing was going, was when the goals started. I'm thankful for my goals and my ambition, it's why I am where I am.
I'm thankful and I'm happy with every single one of my results this year. I can look back on my season and I remember how I felt at every race. I remember every emotion and every sweat drop (okay just kidding about the sweat). I learned so much at every race, so much about technique and tactics. I learned what I need to work on to better my skills, and what I need to work on to be stronger. Even though traveling for 4-5 months every other weekend is exhausting, I don't work as much so I have to forget about the material things, and I miss out on seeing my friends and my husband, I wouldn't take it back for anything. I'm living in the now and I love what I do. I love riding, I love racing. Riding takes me places in nature I would never other wise go. I can appreciate the beauty of where I live, I can appreciate the cool breeze on my face, every hill I have to climb, and every single track trail I ride. Racing gives me a thrill, it makes me feel successful, it gives me a goal. Racing lights up my world, it has allowed me to meet people from all over who love the exact same thing I do. Racing has taken me places I never thought imaginable.
Racing took me to Belgium. Lets reflect on Belgium. Belgium was, and will probably remain one of the most epically packed trips I have been on. First off, I have to say that Geoff Proctor (who runs Eurocrosscamp) does an amazing job putting together the whole program. From the mechanics who constantly kept our bikes running, to his wife who spent too many hours in the kitchen cooking for 20, the whole experience was incredible. The logistics that go into running such an affair cannot be easy, especially over seas! Trying to manage 16 racers during 1 race day (5 times over), whew so many logistics! Thanks Geoff for putting together the program and for including me in it!
Racing in Belgium is a real experience that I'm so happy I had the chance to do this season. I never anticipated such a thing would happen for me, and I feel that much more prepared for next year because of it. Racing in Belgium allowed me to realize how much more I need to work on, it has given me the drive for next year to better my performance.
As I think about what my life is going to be like in 2 months, I can't lie and say I'm a little nervous. This off season has been really awesome, I have had the chance to see people I don't get to see all the time. I have watched the smile on my friends faces as they get married, I have trained my booty off, almost put our house on the market to buy a new one, went to Hawaii, got a new job, put Chris and I on a budget, contemplated how happy I would be if I bought a new car, snuggled my kitty 5x/day, and have worked my BUTT off (with my dad) to find sponsors for next year. Reading what I wrote back in January brought back a flood of emotions of the Cyclocross season. Lets face it, racing bikes isn't easy, it secludes you from the real world, secludes you from those who don't race/ride bikes, and there is always that thought in the back of my head "how material do I want to be"? I think about the things I could have if I didn't race bikes, it tempts me, because I'm not afraid to say, I like material things. Then I go back and read posts like the one above, and it reminds me, why I do this. I race because I love it, I love the sport, and the people in it, I wouldn't trade anything for the life I live, if I didn't travel and race, I would still train and race just as hard, so why not take it where it should go?
Thank you January self, for reminding me why I race, for reminding me how much I LOVE the sport. As July nears and August comes, the jitters will come until that first race of the season. I can't wait to share with all of you how hard I have worked to put together a program for next year. I can't wait to announce everything, but you will have to wait until that time comes!
Thank you for being patient for this far delayed post. I will post an update on life relatively soon!