Athlete Diaries: A Hungry Soul

This will start as a race report but metamorphosize into something more.

This Sunday was much last any other Sunday that involves bike racing. I left work immediately to attend, got to hang out with some friends, and felt good (as well as fatigued) by the end of it. I raced for primes and successfully won two out of the three. The reason for not taking all three was because the final one was offered with two laps to go. Having been successful in sprinting past multiple riders to get the first two, I decided to throw my hand in at the final sprint by sitting the final prime lap out and saving what energy I had left for the field sprint. There was no way I had the legs to hold a sustained effort in a breakaway, so that was out of the question. When the last lap came, there were a few quick and potentially dangerous moves that were made that I tried to follow with the energy I still had. The group who ended up swarming and taking the first ten positions were not seen at the front for the entirety of the race. I was clearly outmatched due to multiple efforts and intervals involved with winning a little swag. Needless to say I still walked away unscathed and with a few goodies who’s dollar value was worth more than my race entry. In my book, I came out on top.

What I didn’t mention was that I brought a guest to the race. A new friends I’ve made through some volunteering events at a local radio station. Being new to cycling she shows a strong sense in wanting to absorb as much about cycling culture as possible. Me being the nice guy that I am, I did my best in showing her what cycling has to offer. I knew I had hooked the catch when climbing our first big hill, after mentioning how hard things currently were, in the same sentence I heard, “I kind of like it.” From this point on I have accomplished my mission, and I can hang my helmet for another days ride. With this recent success, it is hard to come up with a reason to find a conflict in what is mostly good. My mind was up for the task and took no time in revelling in the sadistic, and emotionally abusive relationship between mind and body I live with day after day.

Being in the middle of a seven consecutive day work week has brought deep emotions to the surface. Feelings of lonliness and longing for something that is just out of reach and out of sight. After discussing a few topics with co workers, I am finally able to have a clearer understanding for my wants. When it comes to seeking a relationship, sex is at the bottom of the priority list. As strange as this may sound, I have decided that this part of a relationship is less important than other qualities. As much as everyone loves a late-night rendezvous, I’ll  pass most of the time. This came across as confusing for a young twenty-something, but is too strong of an emotion to ignore. If there was a way to harness the elation that comes from the touch of another with the commitment of someone that shares the same lifestyle and worldview (exceptions are welcome in this instance) without putting fancy titles on things, a tremendous weight would be lifted from my being.

What I am trying to get at (and the current question I have asked myself more and more these past few days) is whether or not it is possible for those of the opposite sex to have a friendship that does not cross the line of physical and intimate attraction.

Is this possible? Based on how many humans live on this planet I am leaning towards yes. Given my particular circumstance, I am finding things increasingly difficult to accept. I am friends with women who are spoken for and while they see no threat in continuing a relationship with a male, there is a part of me that is deeply conflicted. As much as I love the company of someone else, no matter the context, there is a part of me that longs for that motherly touch and affection. Knowing what I know now, and still not being able to get what I want while the possibility that things might change in my favor (and are perceived as just out of my grasp) make this cold heart a little colder and my soul a little older.

The past weeks I’ve been listening to the most recent album from Hoizier. He is one of the few artists that when I listen to, I am struck with awe and fascination. I picked up the guitar again just to learn a song that has so much soul and feeling, its hard not to get choked up in. Its one liners in some of his songs from Jackie and Wilson like, “I need to be youthfully felt, ’cause god I’ve never felt young.”And “She’s gonna save me, call me “baby” run her hands through my hair” paint the picture of a setting of happiness and longing that make the coldest of souls a little warmer. When I find myself describing this to others, my initial gesture is to clench both fists to show how important this is to me. And just like clockwork after driving the point home to another, this passion subsides, and buries itself back to my core. Loneliness takes it’s place and things go back to the way they were. It is emotionally exhausting having to create these strong emotions over and over again. There are times where I fail to see a point in sharing these thoughts in the first place. Knowing what you want and not being able to get it no matter how close or far it may be can be a heavy burden to live with. Only now instead of getting angry, I tend to back of and get sad.

There’s the good and the bad. Making friends, doing well on the bike, and trying to keep sane with this marathon of a work week. Until next time….

-dfj

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