Beep! The clock sounds.
We're on the tandem, pedals clipped in, in the starting gate with our feet poised at 10 and 2, left foot high. I take a breath, relaxing into the moment - the calm before the storm. I am here, in this moment, on this track. My mind stays completely focused on the task at hand.
Beep, beep, beep, beep Beeeep! Each beep brings more awareness, more focus, more concentration. The gate releases us and we're up, out of the saddle, charging down the front straight heading into corner 1. I'm breathing audibly out loud as we round into corner two, driving the front wheel onto the black line. I can feel Karissa's breath on my back as we ease our way back down into the saddle.
Each time we practice, our starts get better. I'm getting used to her movements on the back of the bike and she's getting used to my motions on the front of the bike. It's starting to feel smooth, really smooth. We're honing our technique, with our hopes and dreams set on this weekend's world qualifier. If we do well, we might have an opportunity to race in Mexico in April at the World Championships and help Team USA earn valuable points toward Rio.
The tandem tales continue…. lots of hard work both on and off the bike. My days are consumed by track time. The evenings are full of writing and working, reading and relaxing. Lots of hard work consuming my normal routine. It feels awesome to be this mindful of every moment.