Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013: Trying to find the suspension for some rough patches.

So the blog is on life support but I have been racing this year.  Maybe the renewness of bike racing again as an older guy has worn off and I just feel less compelled to capture it all.  I think I used to be motivated to record every race in order to cement what I secretly feared was a freakish period of my life in which I found myself doing something that I had once so hopelessly abandoned.

At some point in the swirl of life and bike racing in the new environment of higher responsibilities I started to take it for granted and accept that racing and enjoying a fit body was back in my life to stay.

Looking forward...
 But the universe has a way of snapping you back from that kind of complacency.  The year started off decently enough.  I was pretty happy to come back from extended travel (and time off the bike) and be competitive in my first race of the season (see my last post from... MARCH!).  I followed that race up with another mountain bike race where I started off strong but then faded hard when my back just couldn't keep up with the burden of the race pace.  I was satisfied with a finish in the top of the field, though I would have rather not dropped from 3rd to 5th during the race.

But that was it.  I mixed in some track racing but just found I was barely floating in the Cat. 4's and never really found my pop there.  And the rest of the mountain bike racing season was just a string of good starts followed by my back completely abandoning me and then fading hard and getting passed out of the podium spots in race after race.  Then I put in alot of hours, built up a base, started building some speed and jumped into cyclocross only to have one of the most miserable races I've ever had without my bike failing me.

I'd like to blame a pretty substantial increase in my life responsibilities and distractions starting about a year ago.  I'd like to blame a year in which I traveled for work a total of something like 80 days.  I'd like to accept all that and say I can regroup, come out the gates next year and turn things around.  But that ain't it.

...or looking back.
 The fact of the matter is I'm getting older.  And getting older means getting slower.  Sure I'm working with the doctors and am on a track to fixing my back but, fuck, I really don't want to accept that this is what it's come to.  Can't I just do like I've always done when denial doesn't work?  Ibuprofen?  Icing, heating or stretching?  Rest?  Train harder?  Nope.  The real solution is to stop aging.  And the reality of that keeps me up at night, attacks my morale and threatens to push me off that edge where I deal with depression and anxiety.

But don't worry about me!  I haven't lost the ability to realize how good I have it.  I do, however, need to work a little harder to align my priorities and not get too wrapped up in my own little complications.  The fact is I still have excellent health and, through this rather bleak racing season and worry over my exponentially increasing discomfort and inability to train properly I CAN, as a matter of fact, still get on a bike and enjoy a nice day and good friends.  And that can't be traded away for anything so I'm very thankful.

We all age.  Our bodies are going to fall apart.  Damn that's hard to accept.  I was talking to Kris this morning and I just had to admit that this is it.  This right here right now is as old as I'm willing to get.  Too bad, eh?  I've always enjoyed a healthy body whether it's on the bike or out on the property or under a car.  So now I just have to start learning to slow down?  I'm only 44!!!  I'm not done fighting.  I'll figure it out.  I'll slow down.  I'll learn how to maintain, repair and keep enjoying this stupid body that's wearing out.  I simply don't see any other alternative.

Despite the view, I'm not ready to pack up and leave yet.