The first road race of the season is approaching. I can say with confidence that I am ready for it. I have adopted a new mantra in my head to help battle the tough times and the lonely times.
There is sentimental value to this first race in particular. It was the first race I got to travel an extended distance so much so that I ended up staying at a teammate’s mom’s house because of it. This turned out to be a great bonding experience for all of us and the view all the way up to the drive there was breathtaking. It is also the first race I’ve crashed on to the point that I was unable to finish the race. I contracted multiple scars due to rolling on the concrete at high speeds as a result. They are still there and are my own personal battle scars and tattoos if I want to make the best out of a dark situation. When the time came to register for this race another time, I did not hesitate to redeem myself for the new year. I am in better shape and lighter than I was last year, and with this increased focused I have applied to races, (as potentially dangerous as it may seem) I have high hopes for this event. I wont be able to spend the night as work would not allow that time off due to some recent promotions for other staff and multiple executive decisions and changes being made in the process. I’m not worried, it is the beginning of the year and more opportunities will arise. I have kept a steady training routine and now have a Garmin cycling computer to actually track my progress and see how I am doing with my peers. To be honest, I’m just happy I don’t have to ask other other people what time it it while I’m out on the bike.
Training has been going well, and I’ve come to reacquaint with an old friend of time who has a similar riding schedule and an all famliar routine such as the one I have mentioned from time to time. We have ridden together in the past and continue to do so in the current moment. Part of me seeks to find a balance between the extended hours on the bike and decided to ask to get out of the house and off the bike.
We got coffee at some place in hollywood and went to an improv comedy club two doors down. People had been drinking and I got heckled in the process (nothing I’m not already used to. I get heckled as it is riding through the mountains in lycra.) It’s a comedy club, stuff like that happens. We had a good time and we found multiple jokes and sketches funny. I’ve began to notice that we find different things in life (inside and outside of jokes) funny. I don’t have any problems with this, it is beginning to show character for the both of us. Our night off went by without a hitch and we got home safe and in good spirits; except for the introverted hermit in the car.
I was able to laugh and find humor in things that night, but being placed in that situation of a dense crowd in a small setting (not to mention literally sitting on stage where performers are performing) started to make me sweat inside. To add, I’ve been feeling an attractive tension building towards this person. When you spend so many hours on the bike with someone (whether it be an entire off-season, or one ride) you tend to develop a deep connection with that person regardless of gender or any other shallow qualities. Whether old or young, male, female or in between, the bond is timeless and omnipresent. So with the hours spent on two wheels, and the ability to hold a conversation about things other than bike (and our self-confidence and good looks we’ve developed as a result) I will admit that I’ve developed an attraction for this person. It seems to me that I have tried to hint at this for a while now and have gotten no real response. Maybe it’s my fault for not being obvious enough, I thought I had showed the type of direction I wanted this to go when I specifically asked to go out on a “date” with this person. This caused a little panic over the phone that could be heard by the sound of their voice. I can understand how such a question can catch someone off guard and require them to really think on their feet (which tells me that if they need to think about it for an extended amount of time, things aren’t going to go the way you’re expecting them to go. If there was one thing I could ask of this situation and of this person, it would be to simply get an answer.
I tried requesting this Saturday off at work so I was able to spend the night at my teammate’s house and race twice over the weekend. This involved me switching shifts with a supervisor who recently turned into my new operations manager (thus the executive changes and promotions previously mentioned.) She is a great person and works way too much if you ask me. Asking her to switch days with me would have meant that she would have had to come into work for two consecutive weeks while working over (what she claims) has added up to be over one hundred hours worked. These are all valid claims and I am in no way bitter about things not going my way. What upset me is that she waited until the last day possible to let me know she couldn’t make the switch with me. I had teammates asking me over and over if I planned on racing both Saturday and Sunday. I even had someone counting on a ride there by me. Had she would have been straight forward and told me that she wasn’t able to do it at the beginning of the week I would have been fine. There would have been a lot less stress to come from this instead of waiting until the last day, then suggesting I switch with the dispatchers that work days which would have meant I started work in under twelve hours. I knew the guy working the day I wanted wasn’t going to respond to my phone calls since he was hungover from the night before so I had to move my plans around and make a day trip tomorrow morning.
The reason I brought this up is because a lot of stress could have been avoided if I had just gotten a straight forward response both in work and in this bike friendship. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to make it seem like none of this is my fault. After all, I am the one dropping hints and expecting some extravagant, straight forward, instant response from it which is very much like my daily training goals. Whether it be a long, slow, fat-burning easy ride, or a all-out race-paced anaerobic threshold ride, I will admit that I tend to expect unrealistic results from them. Perhaps I am part of the problem. Maybe if I show a little more confidence and state what it is I had hoped for and attempted, I will be rewarded with the same type of response. This has been a bit of a conflict for me during the past weeks. This had lead to mood swings, and an increased feeling of misunderstanding and loneliness.
I have my books, I have this blog, and I have my bike. They seem to do a good job at keeping the loneliness at bay for the time being since I don’t interact with others much outside these three mediums unless I’m grocery shopping or running errands. I would like to think that despite all of this I am in a good place in life right now. I am approaching the transitional phase of finally flying the coop and living on my own (before my birthday in June) and should be excited for that. This house brings about some cynical feelings that I would like to isolate myself from. Kids are going to school, bad habits are developing, parents are not making the right corrective behaviors to address the issues, and I feel like I am the only one who is able to see this and not be heard. My home problems are petty at best, I could be watching my Dad beat his kids and getting drunk and not paying bills week after week, but that is not the case. Home life is balanced by riding bikes, bike related matters (socially and physically) are balanced through books and writing. To sum all trials that arise I say,
“Come what may”