Sunday, August 30, 2009

Overcoming Panic

It's been a month and a half since starting my new/temporary job. It's been an up and down ride and the transition has been...a transition. This has been a pivotal weekend for me and it feels like I've left the Belgian pavee for a little bit of Mississippi chip and seal. It's a welcome sight and my body can feel a more comfortable ride ahead.

After a rocky start to being a Cat 2 at Millersburg, today's race at Jason Gundel was a marked improvement. It didn't start out that well for me, when on the third lap I found the only unmarked pothole on the road, hit it, and turned my handlebars 30 degrees down. This forced me up to the pit. But I got back in the race and finally found my legs again.

The hill on the backside of the course at Gundel was of the type that normally would make my day unpleasant; today that wasn't the case. My finish was nothing spectacular but it was a finish. After peaking no fewer than a million times this season, my training as of late has been a consistent and I've been able to put together decent miles over the last month.

However, for about a month I've been in a state of near panic, my nerves have been at their peak and I've been having trouble getting back into a comfortable schedule. However, late this week I came to an understanding with myself and my job. I realize the two can be reconciled, which is itself a relief. As my fellow bike racers can testify to, by this point in time we've all drank the Kool-Aid. We've made the decision to sacrifice other aspects of our lives for the sport.

Those that love and care for us understand this point. However, explaining these things to an employer is a different story. Suggestions on how to improve are always appreciated. My position has always been that personal lives and professional lives have to be balanced. My grandfather always said everything in moderation. I'm not one of those guys who will work 60 hours a week for the sake of working 60 hours a week. I'm also not one of those guys who will shut down his computer at 4:59 PM just because I don't want to be late for the metro. The same with bike racing and being with friends and family. There is a constant give and take but finding that balance is a tough thing, especially at the start of things. So here is to week two of finding balance.