All Heart

It’s no big secret that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I try to act tough, push people away, and keep my game face on for as long as possible. Those who’ve had an opportunity to get to know the me, understand my inner workings. I’m straight emo. I’m all heart, kid.

My brother has taught me a lot about the bike. The bike can help you through the toughest of times. Sometimes, the bike is ALL we’ve got. Sometimes, we have to take out our frustrations on those little pedals.

To suffer is to live. To live is to suffer. And I want to feel physical pain to match my heart. Go all out. When you’re dying on the bike, you can’t feel sorry for yourself.

Spivey Mountain did that for me.

Legs cramped. Stomach felt sick. Lungs burned. My head was dizzy. I didn’t stop. I wanted to hurt.

Heart on my sleeve, always. Cursed? Maybe. But I wouldn’t live any other way. This is me.


Idle Asheville

When I woke up this morning, I really had no direction or desire to point myself into a direction.  It’s the first Saturday in a long time that I don’t have a plan.  My OCD doesn’t allow for much down time, even though it’s necessary AND I actually enjoy down time on occasion.  It’s definitely been a morning of reflection, wondering if I’m on the right track, thinking of ways to get on the right track, and hoping my temporary insanity is in fact, temporary.  The unsettled feeling I’ve had since moving to Asheville is even more unsettled than before, and the question mark looming over my head is inflating.  If nothing else, I might be able to use it as a flotation device when the water rises above my head…because it’s coming.

It’s hard to see the forest for the trees, and even harder to wrap my head around the fact that EVERYONE is struggling.  I don’t know if I should feel relieved or sad, because everyone I’ve come in contact with today is STRUGGLING.  It’s the way of the world, I guess.  I’m definitely not naïve, but I’ve failed to remember just how hard life is for everyone.  I’m not the only person having a tough day.  I’m not the only person finding it hard to get out of bed sometimes.  I’m not the only person struggling to find meaning in unfortunate circumstances.  We are all searching for ways to adapt to this thing called “life”, and every day we are taken to a different place.  It is what it is.

My dad and I have rarely had moments of true, emotional conversation.  This changed during the time my mother was sick, and after she passed away, and we thankfully had an opportunity to share our heart.  He has always been the quiet one, allowing my mother and I to be outgoing, loud, and animated.  He always internalized his feelings, never really allowing us to see his true emotion.  He just didn’t say much, and I never really understood why, but that was my dad.  This morning, we had a real conversation.

My mama was the talky one.  She always had an opinion and could be counted on to discuss my feelings.  I never saw my father as an emotional outlet, because he just didn’t have the ability to comprehend that stuff.  So, in an effort to let him in my life more, I asked for his advice…and it was actually pretty solid.

So, here I am, with a question mark over my head, a question mark in my heart, and a lot of coffee in my body.  Idle hands on a Saturday in Asheville can be trouble, but I know trouble well.   And I’m good at it.

White Noise

There hasn’t been any motivation for a while now.  I’m not sure where it has taken off to, but I rarely ever WANT to ride my bike anymore.  I didn’t want to ride today, but I think other people know me better than I know myself, so I trusted their words. 

My heart wasn’t in it, but I didn’t have a choice.  My legs weren’t in it, but I didn’t have a choice.  My head wasn’t in it, but when the climb began, I lost all thought.  My mind was white noise, the stuff I love so much.  My legs burned, my head ached, my hands became slippery with sweat…but my heart felt nothing.  Suffering is a hell of a drug.

As soon as I reached the top, I immediately found myself going back to that place, and I knew I had to push myself.  So I did.  I don’t think I ever really had a moment to recover.  I kept pushing, the pain got worse, my lungs felt small, but I kept pushing.  Another climb.  I could feel my chest fill up as I made it to the top.  Keep riding.  Don’t stop suffering.  If my body screams out in agony, I can’t feel anything else.  It all goes away.

It’s the most perfect, miserable, muscle-taxing therapy known to mankind.  And I don’t want to ride tomorrow, but I probably will.

Fire on the Mountain

After weeks of internal upheaval, I decided to sack up and race Ring of Fire tonight.  I’ll skip all the female theatrics and simply put it this way…

What the ever-loving hell was I doing out there?

The good news?  My fear of crashing was quickly put to rest once the field left me in a cloud of dust.  I managed to lead the first lap, with hopes of snagging the first race prime.  Unfortunately, DIY teenagers are light years faster than I am, and I watched my bag of coffee explode into thin air.  My left hamstring managed to explode as well (maybe I need to get that checked out?).

I figured I would at least get a workout while I waited for the pack.  I busted out my best solo TT steez, and it actually took a while for the group to catch me.  It was at this point I realized how hard it is to get back on when you’re not very fast.  Needless to say, I sucked.  The velodrome is tough.

And it was a million degrees outside.


I have no doubts that I’m my own worst enemy.  I put so much pressure on myself to succeed at everything I do.  I know I’m not ready…I’m not there.  I’ve said it time and time again.

It doesn’t make the disappointment any easier.

So, I sulked for a while and shed a couple of tears in the presence of some amazingly supportive people.  And I live to ride another day.