I like to compartmentalize things. Keep things in their orderly place and space. The lines are clearly drawn, and the borders are not threatened. I personally like to color coordinate my closet, and organize my flour and sugar containers in decreasing height. What I wouldn’t do for a label maker.
At times, compartmentalizing is a good thing. It keeps everything separate and clean. However, sometimes in bike racing there are some very small spaces that to be filled in or someone else will do it. You can no longer compartmentalize yourself. You have to immerse yourself into the moving amoeba that is the peloton. There is no more time to keep your boundaries clear and simple.
If you can’t beat them, join them. Although that may not be a very good life philosophy, it works in bike racing. An individual may not succeed, but a group has a higher chance of doing so. And sometimes you have no choice. The lines start to fade. The different colors and kits blend together like a watercolor painting, and the pack funnels through the terrain like one multi-colored unit.
Being 5’9”, small spaces really are small spaces. I am “blessed” with broad shoulders and long legs. I am learning to fill the small spaces, and maybe I am not as big as I think. Or maybe I am. I have been learning to follow my little sprinter Coryn (I think she might be 5’) through the field. She moves through the swarms of women like a little fish on a mission. She tells me there is “plenty” of room for me, as she fills the small spaces. Sometimes I believe her. Sometimes I don’t.
I still like to compartmentalize. I like my bubble of safety. I like to be in control of my surroundings. But every once in awhile, if you let your guard down, you may fill up that small space. You may then find new security. New comfort. That isn’t always a bad thing.