I had a couple days of feeling like utter shit as a result of stress and anxiety. I woke up this morning feeling much more normal and perhaps I had a smile on my face as I thought about how excited I am to publish this post. This has been on my mind for MONTHS! I sometimes wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I can type as fast as I think yet it has been really hard to formulate a post for this. Most of the reason for that is because I am trying not to gloat and make anybody feel bad. There are people that I really care about out there who would kill for this opportunity that, in essence, almost fell into my lap.
Here, read for yourself:
A long time ago, like 5 months ago in June I was ready to blow my brains out. Not literally, well almost literally. I went through a difficult time and started grasping at straws searching for reasons to remain earthbound. Severe depression and some grief added in for good measure had me wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life. For the record, I'm still not sure what the hell I'm going to do with my life but I'm not so on the edge of throwing myself off a cliff any more. Good right?
There are two things in my life that make me genuinely happy. Running and cycling. I had been taming the running beast and was happily beginning my journey through marathon training. But deep down inside my heart has always secretly wanted to expand my adventures in cycling.
Up to this point I have ridden for a number of years. In the past couple years I have spent hundreds of hours riding thousands of kilometers on my bike. Almost entirely alone. Once, I rode 115km of road on my mountain bike. Worst decision ever but an adventure was definitely had! I think it was after that day that I decided I had a hankering for road riding. There aren't many things that make me happier than loading up my saddle pouch with snacks, plugging in the music and disappearing for up to 5 or 6 hours on my bike.
ENTER TEAM TYPE 1
I contacted Team Type 1 for information on how I could possibly get involved. No, I've never raced. No, I have never really had any group riding experience. No, I don't belong to a club. The list went on. Throughout the conversation I had with the woman's cycling coach I got a good load of information on where to start and how to get involved. She suggested I go out, get experience and contact them again next season.
Except for at the time, I had committed myself to a summer full of running races and had mostly given up on my bike for the time being which was fine with me. I was consumed with my running and was okay with going full steam into the cycling world next season. At the same time I was discouraged because I didn't have what it takes to join teams and race bikes. I had loads of hours in the saddle, that wasn't a question but those hours are all solo. I started looking into it in preparation for later. I tried some cycling shops but all I got was a stuck up nose and a snarky attitude everywhere I went. All I wanted was a group of people to ride with! Ones that wouldn't drop me because I wasn't as fast, or because I needed to test my blood sugar. To be honest, the diabetes is what kept me away because I couldn't find a down-to-earth group of people. I know that doesn't sound like me right? But cycling folks are SO snobby. I was afraid if I had BG issues (which I tend to have more on a bike than in my shoes) that people would not wait for me. I mean, sometimes it takes a good 15-20 minutes of sitting on the grass beside my bike. I even got the stink eye from one shop owner because the bike I walked in with was "entry level". I didn't like her after that. She also told me I couldn't ride with her all female recreational group because I didn't buy my bike there. It all deterred me.
3 months later I received a call. "Are you still interested in riding for TT1?"
Umm... what? HELL YEAH!! Sign me the fuck up!
So now I have a coach who sends me training plans and talks my ear off on the phone (in a good way!). I'm learning a whole new language and the learning curve is massive right now. I fill out charts of information for all my workouts and the stress/motivation/diabetes factors which the coach then reviews. I belong to a team of type 1 cycling athletes. To say it is overwhelming is a complete understatement. The other day when I met up with Celine for a (much needed) tea/wine evening chill 'n chat I think my agitation was nothing short of fucking frazzled!
There is so much going on inside my head with regards to my athletic life that I don't even know where to begin. There is a monumental shift going on. The changes that come from totally shifting gears from finishing a marathon to beginning to train for cycling. I had one week of downtime.
I haven't grasped everything yet and my routines have been turned upside-down, inside-out and ass-backwards. I am re-inventing myself. More to come on the effects of fucking around with my body's routines. There will be a whole new world of blog fodder here folks. Complete with the scully'ized version of things, bruised crotches and all.
But more than that...
I'M EXCITED AS FUCK!
There is no other way to say that without the swear word. I tried.
Thank you world for giving me something else to keep me going every day. A team of female cycling athletes? That I am a part of? ...... I'm still in complete shock.
This is by far anything I could have ever expected and it all started with an inquiry. I've gone through many phases of wondering "why me?" thinking I don't deserve this incredible opportunity given my lack of experience. I will continue to feel this way until I get deep into the throngs of training. In addition there will be no end to my running, just a hell of a lot more cross-training. I have a lot of long distance races I plan to run this upcoming year and I can't imagine life without my running shoes, now if I could just fit it all in...
So to answer the question that many have been asking, "What's next?" Let me give you a hint, it has two wheels and sounds a lot like "icicle".