“So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaseless into the past” The Great Gatsby.
How many times can you say next year? Isn’t next year what drives us? It is that elusive goal, similar to the green light of The Great Gatsby. There is a goal or sense of purpose that is constantly moving further away the closer we approach it. Even if it is over glorified, it is next year. But, how many times can I say next year?
Nationals is my goal. As scary as it is to state your goal, at times it is necessary. It is reality. You need to be held accountable for your focus. However, this year, the national’s time trial was one of my most disappointing days in my career. I struggled with being able to write about it, or express the engulfing sense of failure, loss, and frustration. There are other days. You can win some and you can lose some, but oh wait, I have yet to win a national championship. This too will pass? Tell that to my heart that is responding like a teenage girl experiencing her first meeting with love and betrayal. That gripping loss that grabs a hold of your heart and refuses to let go, not to mention the tears which I am sure most of you are happy you did not have to witness. A marginal top 10 performance turned into a 1 minute time penalty, and a national championship that was never able to be ridden to completion. Regardless if the penalty was really for looking too good in a custom skinsuit, or a funky passing situation, it was still a consuming disappointment that leaves a burning void unable to be filled and probably never will.
The first phone call I answered, besides of course my coach, was my Grandpa. 5 days later. He had given me some time to fume, to ache, and to gather myself, and he had been appropriately warned to keep his distance. His advice was simple, that it was acceptable to be depressed and to pout, but then I needed to get moving. Wallowing was not a becoming trait. It hit me. I had turned into a country song and a teenage girl, and I don’t think I was wearing either very well. It was time to “hide my crazy”, and even though this “ain’t my momma’s broken heart” (she would have won) I still needed to “keep it together, start acting like a lady” and move forward focusing on the rest of the year, and of course, next year. Ready. Set. Grow up.
That is why we do this, right? For those relentless goals. To have that moment where all the stars align and you are able to perform to your highest level in a perfect state. Perhaps we are beating against the current, but we are getting stronger for it. Without a target, why would we be doing this? We can’t live in the past of failures and frustrations. How many times can we say next year? I will let you know next year. We don’t quit. There is always a next year.
On a positive note, check out my beautiful Felt DA TT bike on SlowTwitch.Com here. She is so pretty, she deserves a penalty! Feel free to DROOL.