We did the 800 mile drive from Louisville to Cable yesterday. It seemed long. I’m not feeling all that good. My thumb is a .5 on a 1 to 10 scale and my ribs are a 8. Actually, if I cough or hiccup, it goes to a 15. I somehow forgot how much ribs hurt. Plus, the lack of sleep is killing me. I think I’ll get used to that though.
I’ve had a bunch of time thinking about not racing. I’m okay with it. It would have just been a personal life experience, short term. Wandering around the course on Wednesday, I had a few interactions that were way more memorable than the race ever could have been.
I am always surprised when people approach me and tell me their personal stories. Real personal. I’ve gotten much better at this, listening. It used to make me pretty uncomfortable. And it seems, everyone has a story. Maybe it’s an age deal, but it seems like a lot of people that are in the 40’s -50’s, have big life tragedies going on. Parents dying, sick children, broken bones or illnesses. And these things get them down, which is understandable.
A couple guys came up and thanked me for being so understanding, for personally taking time to respond to them when they reached out. That surprised me, how could you not return an email or phone call to “a stranger” that reached out? And really, none of us, in this small community of cycling are really strangers to each other, even though most of us have never met each other.
I think people do a lot of this to try to cope with the shit that life throws at them. I’ve found cycling to be very useful for lots of these issues. Every once in a while, it seems, someone will see one of my public life experiences and relate to them. For some reason, this eases their stresses, and gives them hope, or a vision to escape the mental turmoil. It is a good thing.
People give me credit, when in reality, I don’t deserve any credit. I’m just posting stuff I do, or feel, and some people feel something in common, which helps them deal with their situations. Sometimes I get a personal contact and I just tell them what I’d do or what I’ve done. Seems to help sometimes, which is great. Life sometimes throws unsolvable problems at us. We just need a little time to figure out solutions, or how to deal with them, or just accept them.
Anyway, I ran into multiple guys, people that went out of their way and thank me for helping them out. It is such a compliment and really is a lot better than racing a master’s race. So, I’ve made my peace with it. Kind of strange how it is turned around and these guys helped me deal with a problem that really didn’t have a solution. Nice. Thank you.