Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hakuna Matata

I had planned to write about suffering but I couldn't really get into a flow. I tried, really. For almost a week because I had come across this article about suffering and passion in bicycling magazine. Which spurred me into thinking about my brief relationship with Latin, because one of the few words I remember is Pati, which means suffer. (Maybe had I actually stuck with one language instead of taking 3 different ones I might remember more than a few words in each. It's like I met each one at a bar and after a brief encounter realized a long-term relationship wasn't worth pursuing...). The article says that suffering and passion both stem from the word Pati. It stated that "suffering is essential to the beauty and mystery of the sport." I really tried to jump on board with this article because I thought of all the times I suffered when I was riding-I was like finally, suffering! Yes! But suffering is something we create, a way to limit ourselves from the possibilities we think are too far out of reach. The word suffering to me conjures up this idea of pain, hurt, despair, not being able to eat for days, being ripped away from your family as a child sold into the sex slave, watching your father die from the rebels, that's suffering. But being on a bike isn't the same suffering, it's not a miserable state to be in it's a euphoric state where you realize you are on the cusp of greatness, even if it's just beating your time up the same hill you've done for years. And I don't think that those who can suffer the most on the bike are the best. Sure you can handle a little more lactic acid but it's more about their focus, their drive, that passion that keeps them going. It's their intent to why they are riding, because intent is really just the building blocks of the outcome. I think that's where I ran into problems because my intent for Leadville wasn't pure but I thought that by doing it, it would erase everything that had happened by getting hit by a car. Now going into it again, I have to figure out why I really want to do it, other than to be a badass.

Is this what I look like when I stand next to Frank?
California finally happened, which for the first day I kept smiling because I couldn't believe that I was finally there. We spent 4 days at the beach and 1 day at Disneyland. Being at the beach was delectable, being out there in the moment it was perfect. It's awe-inspiring to be in front of something that is so majestic and at the same time so destructible. I borrowed one of Mary Clair's swimsuits because it didn't have straps so I could work on removing those awesome tan lines I got in Vegas, it was great for working on my tan, not so much for boogie boarding. Luckily that was a day that not too many people were at the same beach. We also rented surf boards for 2 days, which I've never done before. My roommate brought his wetsuits so we wouldn't have to rent them. When he told me you don't wear a swimsuit with them I think I gave him the same look that my mom gave me when I told her you don't wear underwear with cycling shorts. Changing out of that into a swimsuit on the beach was definitely a challenge while trying to remain somewhat dignified and not exposing everything at once. It was like all my changing before my rides prepared me for that moment. Ha. My mom told me before she didn't want me to try surfing because she didn't want me to hit my head again, which is a valid concern, and which is why I'm only tell her now. Every time I would fall off I would hear her voice go, "not the head, not the head" and throw my arms over my head and lie underwater until I thought it was safe to come off without getting a surf board to the face. Surfing was pretty cool, at least the 2 times I stood up, most of the other time I was wrestling (mostly getting destroyed) by the waves while trying to stay laying down on the board. My old swim coaches, actually any of my old coaches would not be impressed with my lack of athleticism I showed in the water. I think anyone who saw me was amazed at how bad of a swimmer I was in the ocean. I would be 3 feet from the beach and get taken out from a wave.

Skipping into the Happiest Place on Earth
I don't know why they have cameras anyways...
Disneyland was magical. Everything I thought it would be and so much more. Jessie is a pro at going so knew how to coordinate all the rides so we could make the most out of our day. And we did. Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Screamin' California, Soaring California, Toy Story Game, and the Tea Cup Ride, which I'm proud to say I did not throw up on this time. The pictures of us on the rides are pretty comical and almost always the same, My eyes are closed and I appear to be screaming, Jessie seems to be thoroughly enjoying herself, and my roommate looks so nonchalant it's like he's not even on a ride.  I was hoping to run into Cinderella, as she's my favorite princess, mainly because we have so much in common what with her falling down stairs, losing her things and having nothing good happening to her after midnight, that and we both believe a pair of shoes can change your life. Instead we saw Sleeping Beauty, so I took my picture with her even though I'm not a fan of the fact that she fell asleep only to marry the first guy that came along when she woke up. But I guess it worked out as they lived Happily Ever After.

The only bike I've been on so far is my cruiser. I have to check in with people when I leave and when I get home because they don't trust me to be able to ride 3 miles by myself and be okay, but I'm sure my mom appreciates that fact. I still need to find a helmet. I know that part of me not getting one is not finding one that really fits me, but I also know that part of it is that I won't have an excuse to not ride anymore. I'm not so much scared of getting back on my bike and riding but just at how fast everything can happen. Needless to say I'm not planning any solo rides. I haven't given Leadville too much thought because there is no point in letting it consume my life at this point. I am thinking about getting a Scott bike for next year though. It's a girl specific bike, which is probably why I want it but the resale market would be so small that I'd have to commit to keeping to for a while so I'm not sure about that. Plus I'm bonded with my bike now so I'm not sure I want to go through that again, because I'm getting a little old to be sleeping in the back of my car with bikes. At least it's bikes and not boys.