Views from singletrack in Park City
When I got back home from US MTB Nats I was given a new joy, a new mission and a new outlook on racing and life. But after trying hard to make my way thru workouts my legs weren't having any of it. Something was wrong. My mind was in the game but my legs were doing things they never have and so was my body. Almost as if everything was revolting against me. I was supposed to have an easy week and my body and mind was telling me I needed even more than that.
I came to the realization that I hadn't had true time off the bike in the last four years....unless I had dislocated my ribcage, or broke my thumb or broke my wrist/hand needing surgery or because the parents died, etc. All EXTREMELY stressful circumstances that I shouldn't have used as proper time off the bike. I see this now.
So I did it. I pulled the plug.
And it was by far THE BEST thing I think I have ever done. I was finally HEALTHY and taking time off the bike, just for me and me alone. What a wonderful time. I cooked, got projects done, unloaded some more boxes from moving in April, had loads of friends over, and just simply enjoyed life. I went to Yoga and Pilates if I felt like it and didn't if I didn't.
We even went golfing! Well....mini golf at the SLC Art Center (each artist had their own hole to create - it was AWESOME).
Eric and Chris contemplating the way to get around the sand trap
Chris, Eric and Kristin navigating their way around the fabric hole with many yarn obstacles.
Being at the Derby is just like riding a bike on a nasty day getting pelted with dirt chunks
So you could say I had enough stuff to do to keep me quite busy during this time. So much so that it went by in a flash!
Once I got back on the bike I felt like the most renewed and regenerated person in the world from inside out. And that has translated into the most invigorating feeling on the bike every single day that ride. It is just AWESOME to be on my bike everyday. I am just LOVING it. Like a love I have never had before with it. Every time I ride the feeling I get is when you've been training indoors all winter and finally get to ride mtb for the first time in months outside. This is like an addiction I have never had for the bike to the extreme right now!
Enjoying the views from the bike in Heber
The time off the bike was also the time I needed to reflect on the past mtb season (which is still going on for some through MTB World Championships in Sept).
I realized that it has been only 9 months since dad died and ll months since mom passed and looking back on it I was asking WAY too much of myself which goes without saying for a pro athlete of any type. I was ready to race like I normally do with my mind and body but they were both still working their way out of their own personal hell that was called 2009.
I see that now but it is amazing how things can get jaded in the process as they sure did for me. Wanting something to happen quickly when trying to undo the last 18 months of my life (when my dad first went into "Memory Care") at the same time just wasn't in the cards. Time was needed to mend and undo everything that had been done. I didn't see that until now.
I have also realized that the grieving for the loss of my father hasn't just been going on since November. It has been going on since January of 2006 when he had his massive stroke that took away his ability to simply say "I love you" to me. To simply understand that I was saying "I love you" to him. His ability to communicate from writing - reading - speaking was gone in an instant and he never regained any of it. He only continued to deteriorate for 4 years and I was heavy in heart the entire time. My father meant everything to me and of course mom did too but she didn't start her downhill spiral until a bit later when she ultimately (in my mind) died of a broken heart of not being able to take care of her sweetheart of 56 years anymore do to both of them deteriorating.
View from the bike: Heber Valley
Looking back on it too, I see that for the first 5-6 months from each of my parents death I was operating in a cloud. Fuzzy hazy thought process if you will although at the time I thought I was fine. Imagine how that translates onto the bike. Well, just look at my results and you will see how that translated - I am capable of so much more!! Amazing how connected the mind and body are to each other. And although we all know this, it sometimes takes an experience such as this to really see it.
Loving every second in the saddle
I was lucky to head to US Nats and experience the things that I did. It changed the course of my racing career and life. Not sure I could have handled another life change anyway if I had actually retired from racing. That would have been too many major life changes in one year with losing both parents and moving houses too!! Plus it would have been a MASSIVE mistake.
More views of Heber Valley
I am happy to report that I have a renewed sense for what I should be doing with my life, I am excited to ride and race and I am so ecstatic about the future!!