Okay I confess, no big surprise to some of you, I’m an overachiever. I love trying new things. Taking big risks seems “normal” to me. I guess I must have been in a brain rut with my overachieving side, because today I got to experience a completely new part of myself, and I’m happy to say I’ve survived the mirror reflection and am here to tell the tale.
It started out like a regular bike racing morning. Got my kit ready, my bike loaded, my post race food pack together. I’ve downed a great breakfast and I’m good to go. Except for one thing…it is pouring rain outside and has been pouring like this for 12 hours straight. I mean the kind of Seattle rain that makes you want to turn off the alarm and order coffee in bed. But that’s typical for October around here and I’m up and I’m into it, I’ve been training hard all week and I know this race is going to be fantastic. I’ve got a great mindset.
That is until I get there and take a look at the course. It’s all grass or mud and slick, soaking, bleech. The hills? Steep, fast and super muddy – not a dry line to be had. No worries! I have powered through more treacherous experiences!
I register, hop on my bike and take it for a spin on the course just to get a sense of what I’m in for. Within 30 seconds I realize I am not having fun. I’m not feeling it. I’m sliding out everywhere, I go down one hill gripping my handlebars so petrified you’d think it was my last hurrah before the hearse arrived. Uncharacteristic of my regular daring self, I realize, wow, I think this particular course might be a little over my head. Really? pokes my ego.
What now? Should I feel the fear and do it anyway? My mindset is no longer in such a good place. How will I explain this to other people, will I say that I was too afraid to do the course? (Awkward!) Then I hear my head chatter and start to laugh out loud. Miraculously, I break out of the regular routine to do something different. I decide to override my persistent ego and forego the race.
Later, did I feel guilt and remorse? A little, but I also realized that not every course was meant to be raced by me! Given my limited skills as a cross rider, I knew this race could have been potentially treacherous not only for me, but for anyone around me.
Next week, I’ll be back and I’ll be just as eager to race as before. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to work on my off road bike handling skills so when I face that downhill muddy slide, I’ll know exactly what to do.