Thursday, June 19

The Fit Dick

Near a fortnight ago, The Fit Chick wrote a poignant blog post titled Letter to my Former Self: Six hard fought lessons on racing bikes.  I've said it before, if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I'll never learn.

But I can read, reflect, and perhaps glean something useful from outside stimulus and smarter people.

And forget it all at the most inconvenient time.

Here's my opinions on her opinions and how much or how little they matter to me.

Focus on yourself.  Basically, she's telling me to not worry about who else is going to be there on the start line with you.

"You’ve been training to be the best you can personally be. That might mean you win."

But I probably won't... mostly because the first part isn't true either.  I haven't been training to be my best (unless hoping counts as training), but I can immediately pinpoint at least a dozen things I shoulda done to get ready for this event, but didn't because... because that's not what I do. 

Be patient.  This works for all of ten seconds.  That's how long my patience lasts, be it in a race, a line at the grocery store or waiting for my toast.  I eat a lot of slightly warmed bread covered in chunks of butter.

Eh, I’ll save my breath, you’ll learn to race smart eventually."

She doesn't know me very well.  Any smart racing that I've ever done just happened.  I don't leave the start line thinking smart thoughts.  They just come to me as some sort of epiphany, not sought after or brought about through a precognitive process.  Just found somewhere out there, like a full gel flask lying amongst the rocks or inspiration brought on by something as silly as a slice of pizza (which isn't silly at all).

Race your race.  Here's one thing I think I get.  She mentions racers who eat a ton of pre-race food and how that doesn't work for everyone. My best efforts are when my pre-race nutrition is as close to shit as possible, but not total shit, as I've had some serious moments of near death hunger caused by stupid dietary decisions the day before.  During the race, despite what all the experts say about blood thickness, caloric intake and hydration needs, I do my best when I play it all by ear.  No watch, no computer.  Drink when I'm thirsty and eat when I remember.  Don't do as I say or as I do. 

Get stupid.  I wrote the book on this.  I'm not sure anyone gets stupider than I do.  It's not that I want to, it's just that I have a dominant stupidity genome that controls my actions whenever I get near a bike.  Sometimes stupid works for me.  Sometimes it's my worst enemy... but it's all I got.  I've had some of my best races when I've gone on poorly thought out attacks, skipped much needed aid stations, and performed all manner of moronic malfeasance to mine own self.  I've also had some of my worst races doing the same things.  Stupid isn't consistent in the results department.

Keep your chin up.  Easier said than done.  Go off course?  End of the world.  Drop a water bottle?  Just kill me.  Get passed at any point in the race by a fellow competitor?  Bend over, grab ankles...
But for only as long as I can focus on the current dilemma.  I can dig a deep hole of sadness with each setback, but fortunately, I can be easily distracted and start a new train of thought as easy as that.  Keeping my chin up is more of a nodding exercise for me.

Be yourself.
  If there's anything I ever am, it's me.  Sometimes regretfully, sometimes reluctantly, most always naturally.  I haven't tried to be someone else since high school, and back then I was trying to be The Greatest American Hero.

I don't look very good in red.  Couldn't pull it off.  Being a nearly flightless human didn't help either.

Hopefully my opinions about her opinions will lead you to form your own informed (or not) opinions.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

"...performed all manner of moronic malfeasance to mine own self"

You make great bike sentence.