The one water bottle rule didn't work today. You know, the one I told you about before. Some coach told my friend Tela Crane that she could be pissed/upset/sad/mad/frustrated about the outcome of a race for one water bottle's worth. After sucking down its contents, you chalk up those feelings to experience. You sit back, and say to yourself, hot damn. I got to do what I love today. And sure it didn't pan out as hoped. But it paned out.
A champion is not someone who wins all the time. Sure, that helps. But a true champion is someone who learns from their mistakes and sees them as opportunities to improve.
Tandem racing is a trip. It's all about tactics, and figuring out the momentum game. Picking the right line, the right wheel and staying out of harms way. Just like racing the single bike. But the speeds are higher on the descents, the cornering that much more exaggerated and the accelerations slow. It's also way more fun because it's a new challenge. And I get to share it with a blind athlete, Shawn.
We came in 6th today. I was racing aggressively for 3rd place since the break up the road had the first two podium spots. We were chasing hard to bridge and overcome the Polish. Going into the steep descent and right hand turn, I told Shawn to hold on. We FLEW through the last corner, easily hitting 40 mph. Then came the curb. Up we went, through a family on the sidewalk and almost t-boning a 4 year old on a bike. We lost our momentum. The Polish were gone and the Great Britain Team and other USA team came by. We pushed, we pulled, we put everything we had into it, but our chance was gone. DAMN!
To be so close to a podium. To taste it, smell it, feel it. To be SO CLOSE!!! I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't disappointed. That I'm going to just chalk this one up to experience.
Next week we have another opportunity. The stakes are higher - a world championship title is on the line. More opportunity to live and grow. And bottom line: more bike racing!!!