"I think CX racing is not my thing. I really dug deep to think of why I lost interest and there's many reasons (mostly work stress), but I don't think I have the racer's mindset. I can't dig deep enough within to make a competitive attempt. What it is, is I focus so much energy into work, especially with my appointments, phone calling and pending business pouring into Saturdays and Sundays, and then I have to go to all these fraternal events on the weekends that relate to my work. The agency I am in is super sales competitive oriented, and when all is said and done, the only peace I find is in riding.
What I've come to find is that racing doesn't bring me peace. It actually kinda stresses me out and I don't have fun - and then it becomes a pain in the ass and then I don't want to do it. I feel I not only waste my time and money, but I waste the guy-who-I-may-finish-ahead-of's time, who may be actually going for the glory. I may just be a roadblock for him and he may be trying real hard to get ahead, when in my mind, I just don't care."
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Reflections on Bike Racing - Part II
In November of 2010, I posted THIS ENTRY in regards to CX racing.
On Saturday, I raced CCCX #1 MTB XC in the Cat3 Category, Mens 35-44. I thought I may have had a fighting chance after two years of riding pretty consistent and breaking nearly all my personal records. In preparation, I planned my rides, had a strict training regimen, went hard and took recovery rides, followed a diet and actually lost 15 pounds. I felt confident and determined that I wasn't going to be a last place finisher this time around.
Well, that was not the case. I came in 3rd to last place.
To and from the race, I drove my friend Brett (Cat2) who actually placed third in his class. He went on to tell me how much he loved racing, and how it "drove" him to do it more and more. The passion he expressed was deep. I, on the other hand, didn't feel that way. It was during Brett's A.D.D.-fueled blabbering that I realized: I have no love for racing. Not like some of these guys do.
I don't know if it is my frustration of being a meat pylon, or if it is my lack of passion for racing, but it is clear after two years of making some valiant attempts of being a bike racer, it truly isn't my thing.
Great friends have encouraged me to "keep at it!" and "don't let this get you down, you're gonna get faster!" - but I don't know if I even want to "keep at it" - because all that "training", dieting and commitment to a failed attempt on my part ended up being all in vain. Not only did I walk away with a feeling of disappointment in myself, but now I have developed this strange after-effect of mental burn-out: I simply don't want to ride MTB's. I have no desire to hit the trail.
This is alarming to me, given that I love riding. But bike racing seemed to do the complete opposite to me what it does for other people. For others, the race is what keeps them riding - for me, the race is what makes me want to say "f' it!".
In my November 2010 post, I mentioned my work, and how the mental demand is at an extremely high level. Quite possibly if I had a corporate job where competition was not a factor and it is done at cruising speed with a steady paycheck, I could see racing being a viable option to "get that edge out of me". But, this is not the case. I work in a highly competitive, mentally draining, quota and commission driven sales environment where it is feast or famine. My paycheck is extremely unstable and varying from very low to moderately high with extremely long hours, working into the late hours of the night and most weekends.
I am not making excuses for my failure as a bike racer, but trying to find the source of the complete opposite outcome of my feelings towards it.
I've always been a rebel - never wanting to adhere to things that didn't come as fun to me. There's a reason why I leaned towards BMX and not high school sports; art and not academics (although I was a straight A student). Quite possibly, deep inside on a subconscious level, racing may represent to me a type of structure that I naturally want to go against.
Or maybe, I just suck and don't want to subject myself to future ass-whoopings.
Whatever it may be, this is my last attempt at bike racing. I can't say that won't give it a go in years from now, but as it stands, I'm hanging up my number plate.
I need to shake this lack of desire to MTB ride. In the next few days, I will have to force myself to ride and try to ignite that riding passion I've been able to cling on to for 4 years without ever waining. I am so perplexed of how one bike race could burn me out this bad.
Until next time, my friends. I wish all my fellow Quadzillians GOOD LUCK!
Posted by Dion at 5:05 PM