There comes that moment of serenity. That moment of peace. That moment where everything feels like it is in order. You are in motion, yet there is no resistance. It is right.
This feeling of utter composure is difficult for me to encounter. Maybe it is my energy, or maybe it is that I spend most of my life living out of a duffle bag and packing cubes. Maybe it is that I am a little obsessive compulsive and over analytical. I never settle, and I am rarely satisfied. I strive to achieve more and improve at all times. Yet, amidst a 3 week trip including NVGP and USA Nationals, I found myself in that moment.
I could breathe. I could feel.
It was USA Road Race Nationals. It was hot. It was Georgia. It was 120k.
However, I was there for a purpose, and it felt right. After desperately trying to claw my way out of NVGP and onto Nationals, I could see my mid-season break in the distance and I craved that moment. But now was not the time to relish a break, now was the time to make a bid for the stars and stripes. The fatigue is in the legs from a long stretch from the Tour of Qatar to Nationals, yet this was the show, and I had to perform.
I found myself off the front of USA Nationals for 100k of the 120k race. It was in those hours that I was able to find that moment. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt like hell. It was a struggle, it was a fight. Yet, I was able to find calmness and focus. I don’t do things half-heartedly. I commit. I do things because I believe in them. Instead of spending the first 100k of the bike race off the front, it may be more fortuitous to find yourself off the front in the last 100k of the bike race. However, I was fulfilling my role on the team, and I was doing it to the best of my ability, which even surprised me how strong that was. I was proud of my effort, and it felt right. It was that moment of serenity. That moment where the pavement stretched on endless into the distance over the constant undulating terrain. There was no relief from the effort, from the heat, or from the chase of the peloton. Yet, I was in the right place. It was right.
Although the race did not end well for the team, I know I did my part and I am thankful to have found that moment of clarity. It is a glimpse like that, that makes it all worthwhile.
Augusta, Georgia will be the host for USA Nationals next year. It will once again welcome me back with its Southern charm, and oppressive heat.
I know I will find that moment again, and it will be right. And maybe that moment will result in a win. Not just a moment.