Two Steps Forward and 10 Years Back

I’m back.  You can’t get rid of me that easy.  I’m a fighter.  I’m antsy.  I gotta spill my heart over lavender candles and an eccentric musical play list. 
Last week was a glimpse into my previous life as a train wreck.  No…I never totally rid myself of my emotional tendencies…but I have learned how to cope.  At least I thought I did until, well, last week.
I woke up Saturday morning with a hopeful heart and eagerness to hang with my CX family.  I packed up the car and began to make my way to Farmhouse.  My happiness was short lived and I lost my motivation somewhere between Gray and Unicoi.  I arrived with coffee in hand and zero desire to race.  I was also exhausted from my extremely busy work week.  That combination alone is enough to squash any and all motivation one might have to wake up early and suffer on a bicycle.  I was doomed from the start.
After a few cat naps under the easy-up and a conversation with inner child, I attempted to cheer up.  Something just didn’t feel right.  I wasn’t my super strong, happy self.  In fact, I was feeling more like my former self.  The 21-year-old super sappy, nothing-will-ever-be-ok, life sucks, I’m so depressed and desperate-for-something, grumpy self.
And everyone noticed.
I thought my race might make things better.  The backside of the course was like a dream and I had hopes of finishing in the top 4.  After the first lap (per my usual) I was fully aware that I was going to suck.  I tried to make a few moves to salvage any hope of not being last.  I managed to stay ahead of two other girls.  I didn’t even come close to podium.  Cue emotional break down….now…
I took a moment to sit in the grass and get some sort of oxygen flowing back to my brain…I felt AWFUL.  Once I could feel my face, I quietly pushed my bike back to the car and took a seat in the front.  I tried to hold back my tears, but it was apparently my time to cry.  I sipped my recovery drink as I let my emotions flow.  My week had finally come to an end.
I’m not sure of the exact moment I discovered the microphone…
It’s amazing what a blonde wig, a tutu and a PA system can do for one’s mental health.  I began to announce the mountain bike race.  I started heckling people in the crowd.  I could hear people laughing.  I felt the doom and gloom lifting.  This was redemption.
And then it was time to visit my old stomping ground…BOONE!
I drove up that afternoon to spend the night with the amazing Shaw and Sarah Brown.  These two have held a special place in my heart of hearts for years.  The Boone Town Throw Down was on the docket for Sunday and I just knew if nothing else, Boone would cheer me up.  Good lord…did it ever!
Nothing but the best entertainment at The Brown House

My very special CX pumpkin!

Podium girls

Some very special old and new friends on the ASU bus

Thanks to Kris Bedsaul (AVLCX) for capturing this amazing action shot!
Showing the brains behind NCCX some podium love!
Race #7 of my CX career was definitely my best performance.  I felt good, I rode smart and I had a blast.  I think I could have gone a little harder in some areas, but overall I am pleased.  The Cat 4 class was the biggest I’ve experienced at 24 riders.  I was 17th…which isn’t good…but sometimes it’s not about winning.  I know some of you might disagree…but opinions are like assholes….
Spending time in Boone reminds me of how much I loved living there…always hard to leave.  Thanks to Sarah, Shaw and the entire Boone crew for the hospitality.  You guys are too kind!
So how do I work on myself?  Well, as far as my cycling is concerned, I now have a coach.  I sat down with Aaron Casey this afternoon and discussed my plan for the next year. 
I want to be faster.
I want to race road.
I want to ride my mtb.
I want to take my sprinting strength to the next level.
I want to maintain threshold for more than 1 lap.
I want to compete for podium rather than trying not to come in last.
I want to SMASH the CX circuit next year.
I honestly see potential in these little legs…just need help getting there.  I think if I focus on my ultimate goals and am willing to sacrifice the filler, I can do this.  I have a supportive crew that will see me through and my determination is explosive.  I simply need to keep my head on straight and resist the urge to fall into my own personal traps. 
I’ve heard a few people make comments like,
“Aren’t you a little old for this?”
“Really? Cycling coach?”
“Why do you need to race your bike? Can’t you just enjoy riding it?”
Well…no, I’m not too old. 
And…YES.  A cycling coach.  Accountability is always good.
And lastly…I can enjoy riding my bike.  But it feels good to kick someone else’s ass…and being last sucks.
I’m still dealing with some other demons in my personal life.  There are also a few question marks in my career making me a little uneasy and confused. 
On the bright side, Cincy3 is this weekend.  I’m hoping this will be a great cure for the blues. 
My name is Megan…and I like to ride my bike till I puke.

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