Monday, June 20, 2011
I found my OM in Waukaesha. Or perhaps it's better to say my OM found me.
I also found my physical limit. It hit me like a rude awakening. A glass ceiling that shattered into a million pieces.
Let me set the stage. Yesterday was the fourth day of racing in a row. The day before I had a stellar performance. It was one of those days when everything syncs up - nutrition, physical prowess, mental attitude - at one point I remember thinking to myself, "who is this girl?!" I didn't let any doubt sink in. Instead, I filled my head with positive affirmations and kicked. some. ass.
That night I went to bed, thrilled with the prospect of another opportunity to demonstrate my ability. Especially since Waukaesha defeated me five years ago when I visited Wisconsin for Speed Week while racing for Tamarack. I visualized being a position master throughout the race, especially the finish.
You can imagine my delight when I got a front row call up - right before Laura Van Gilder, the series leader. The announcer said something about "And out of Seattle, Washington - surprising everyone yesterday with her aggressive racing, riding for Hagens Berman..... JENNIFER TRIPLETT!" Who? Me? Oh right, that girl and I are one in the same.
The race starts and I'm ready to go. I pull the first time through the start/finish, setting myself up for perfect positioning. And then, well.... I lost it. I found myself floating further and further back into no man's land. Then I'm dangling and playing the whip on the back. And next thing I know I'm detached. I just can't push any more. Time check? 15 minutes. UGH.
I roll off the course - on the exact same street I did 5 years ago. Defeated. Cooked. Exhausted. But this time, I'm hungry. Not only for calories - but hungry to recover. I'm hungry to rest, to relax and come back on Tuesday to throttle it again.
I pedal back to the car, the long-head-hanging-low way. If I was a dog, my tail would have been between my legs. I eat a chocolate chip cookie, eat a peach, drink some water and call the coach. We talk things through - and I'm already picking myself back up. I put on my civies, changing back into my Clark Kent clothing and make my way to the finishing straight to watch the end of the race.
As I'm waiting for Cari to finish up, I wander into a jewelry shop. And there, hidden at first are a pair of earrings with the OM symbol and a turquoise stone. Perfect. And there's nothing like a little retail therapy to cheer the soul. Especially something as symbolic as that.
OM. Meditation. Accepting things for what they are. Embracing life's lessons. A crafty smile spreads across my face for there is nothing I would rather be doing, right here, right now. Well, maybe one thing....
I chalk the day up as "just one of them days" and take today off from the road race, propping my feet up on the couch and recharge for the remaining 5 days of racing. OM.