Getting to the starting line of the TD is almost as hard as the race itself. The past two times it was a struggle of balancing training, working multiple jobs and finding the time for the dog(s). Not to mention, finding time to do something other than working on bikes, riding bikes, building bags for bikes and dreaming eating and shitting bikes, training, maps and gear.
Now life is even more full. Sharing everyday life with someone really brings to life how obsessive and overpowering the TD can be. I never realized how stressful the TD prep was on a relationship, and now I do. Time is an even more rare commodity than ever.
Yet that damn ride is in my head. I want to be out there, I want to dig deep into myself and seek the limits of my abilities, skills and endurance. I want to see all those sunrises and sunsets from the saddle, cruising down the spine of the continent with everything I need strapped to my bicycle. That vision is a very strong one indeed.
Yet right now I am wondering how important that ride really is. Is it more important that the rest of my life? Once upon a time, I thought it was. Now I am in doubt. Life is a series of struggles. Reaching, striving, trying to do more, be a better person, a more complete human. Is the Divide the only route for me to take to push myself? I know it isn’t, I know life will go on if I don’t make it up to Banff. But I also know I will beat myself up all summer if I don’t try harder to make it happen.
There is no easy answer, there is no right answer. There is simply life and how we chose to live it. Damn it is hard sometimes….
Maintaining a relationship while engaging in obsessive (training/racing) behavior to the outsider can look like selfish behavior. Because many times it is –been there done that. In the end, for me at least, the relationship always comes first. Which to some degree or another ‘may’ degrade the level of commitment to the training/race. Some seem to find a good balance; I have always struggled with it, never finding the perfect ratio but still looking.
As an avid reader of your blog all I would say regardless of how much the bike and competition define you, like anyone else you have much more to you. My unsolicited advice is to work first at one’s relationship and then move forward from there…….the TDR isn’t going anywhere and it does not require a perfect run-up prep to nail it.
Advice means a lot coming from a master and wise man like yourself. I am not great at being patient and I really feel like doing the TD a second year in a row would really give me something of an advantage, as it is fresher in my head and bones. You are correct, the TD isn’t going anywhere, but once I get my head wrapped aroud something it is hard for me to let go.
I did find me a very special lady and I do not want to blow it. We shall see…
Thanks so much for reading, it means a lot!
Just do it… You owe it to the world to bring your awesomeness back and smash out another great ride! I will be there again drifting along in your wake like everyone else…
Seriously though – the people in your life that really know you/want to know you will support your choices. While you are much more than any event or activity they are expressions of who you are. I’m betting those close to you kinda like that:-)
I want to do it, I do…thing is it ain’t any easier for me than anyone else. I’m way off the back in my training, I need to do lots of sewing and I’m broke as can be. That and making all that stuff come together will take a ton of time and energy in the next couple months and I have a lot going on, work, work, volunteering, dogs And not ruining my relationship. And I am supported by my GF, she wants me to follow my dreams, but it is hard on those in our loves to deal with the obsessive nature of it all.
I am still on the fence…but I hope to be in Banff in June for sure.
Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading, I love It!