Yesterday I hit a major reset button. Major.
I took my track bike down from the wall where it's been sitting and collecting dust since last September. I pumped up the tires and put on pedals. I located my heavy track sack - laden with chain rings and sprockets. I dug out my Broadmark jersey and headed east to Marymoor for the first time in months. One of my skin suits still has the USA Master Nationals jersey numbers pinned onto it.
I was a little apprehensive about getting on the bike - with the instant reminder that something is missing from corner two. But it only took me 100m before I realized what a huge smile pedaling around in perfect circles on an oval track does for me. I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. It's different than road. You don't have as much time to think. The purity, the gracefulness, the harmony of body and machine.
Riding my Tiemeyer is like putting on a perfect fitting baseball glove. I know every contour - how to control the bike, how it feels at speed, how to look through the corners and how much blood, sweat and tears go into pushing your body beyond the limit on such a simple machine. I found myself getting excited for the season - the racing and the people. Feeling the love and the amazing bonding experience the track scene has given me. I hadn't realized how much a part of my life it has become until yesterday.
Doing jumps off of corner two came naturally. My body remembers. My heart knows that it feels so right. It felt like I had reconnected with a lover that had been on leave for months.
I was starting to worry. I found myself dreading road racing. Looking for other sports to fill my heart and mind with. Finding excuses to avoid certain races. Feeling lost and uncertain that something that had once given me so much meaning and purpose now felt like a burden. (You know it's serious when you start running on a knee that doesn't have a meniscus!) It really scared me actually, to the point where I stopped writing, stopped communicating and started worrying. I would lay in bed at night, eyes wide open, wondering what would come next. What on earth was destined for me and hoping that it would come soon so I could stop the uncertainty.
And then yesterday things clicked. Honestly, I can't recall a single time in the past 5 years when I felt like quitting track. Where I wanted to hang up the bike, sell all of my gear. I had completely forgotten that. In contrast, I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit road racing. (Basically on every hill!) So to feel that passion again on the banking - to know I hadn't completely lost all of my identity and still have that piece of me left, in tact and whole - wow, what a relief. And I slept like a baby last night with a smile on my face thinking about the pain and suffering I'm going to cause my competitors.