Wednesday, January 16, 2008

UCI World Cup LA - Ready or not?

All systems are checked and clear for takeoff. We'll let's hope I fly on the bike this time around. It's been a month since my last competition in Thailand so we'll have to see. But, I've trained very hard, and kept clear of viruses, so far. This is a victory in and of itself, when you have preschooler kids.

So am I ready? This was the question Jenna asked me the other day. I thought about it and said, "Well, a lot of riders have been competiting at 6 day races in Canada, Germany, etc. But me, I've been training on my rollers in the attic. Yeah, I think I'm ready." We cracked up at the absurdity of the situation.

It's been cold and rainy in SF for the past few weeks, so I've had to train indoors in my attic, where there's the only TV in the house. There were days when I just couldn't motivate myself to ride for 3+ hrs. on the rollers. It really sucked. Everything goes numb, especially, well you know where if you ride. But my awesome super cool wife would not let me slack off. She would say, "You can always take the bus downtown." Implying I can always get a job instead. Considering this alternative, I quickly kitted up and hightailed up the stairs to the attic and looked forward to some hard roller training sessions. Like anything else in life, it's how you perceive things that matters. Nothing is what it is except what you think it to be.

And honestly, after a while I enjoyed the solitary workouts in the attic. I had to do a lot of speed endurance work (at 95% of max heartrate) and it was difficult to get going for the first few reps. When my HR is at 180 bpm, I feel like I'm dying with a sock in my mouth. That's when I would hear these voices in my head, that are in dolby surround sound quality yelling, "Stop, you're f@+** killing me, STOP now."

Sometimes, I can't help but think what a sick sport cycling is. We suffer a lot so that we can suffer even more. Interestingly though, after a while the pain becomes enjoyable. But only if there is purpose in the suffering. And it's the imagination of this purpose that helps me push through the pain. When everything hurts and I feel like I can't do it, I close my eyes and imagine sharing my Olympic dreams with my family, friends, and the charity I'm supporting with this quest. The clarity of this imagination helps me break through. I realize it's a very long shot, but imagination has no limits. In my mind there are endless possibilities. I've done the hard work and I believe I'm ready. Now, we'll see how it goes in LA.

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