Last season as you can all probably tell I essentially “quit” racing. I needed a mental reset. Life got in the way and took the fun out of it for me. I hate the word quit. I’m not a quitter. But what else do you call it when you hang up your wheels and DNS multiple races you have already registered for.
I wasn’t burnt out, I wasn’t slow. ( to the average joe) but I was sad. I was unemployed, coming off of surgery and didn’t know what was next and life had got the better of me. On the outside I always have it together. I’m organized, fun, happy, the driving force for LA Sweat always doing it all. But little do people know that outside of cycling and racing life has been tough the last 2 years. In late 2015 my life took a turn I never imagined. I returned home from Italy, and in a week moved out of my house, lost my job, and my marriage had taken it’s final blow. I took my dogs and a car full of stuff to a place where I didn’t know anyone. It was a good reset away from the craziness of LA. But I was alone.
The determination to train and take the time off to focus on cycling turned to spending days in my pj’s and sleeping a lot. I would try and re motivate but nothing I tried really worked. If you haven’t dealt with depression count your lucky stars. I told myself I wasn’t depressed. I was lying.
The 2016 season started and with a half assed winter training block. I was delusional to think I could jump in and succeed. I didn’t succeed, and it was demoralizing. But I wasn’t a quitter so I kept going, I kept lining up, I kept failing. I was disconnected, isolated and probably a bit of a bitch. ( if you met me in this time let me just apologize now) . Last September I said fuck it and hung up my bike. I took one last trip with yonder journal in the mountains, I spent time with family I had neglected over the years chasing the racing dream. And I was “ok” with things.
I got a new Job in Portland shortly after. Bikeflights loaned me the sprinter and I again packed up my life and moved to a new city. I knew more people but was still new and a bit lonely. But I needed a job and this is where the job was.
One week post move the city was hit with the worst winter it had seen in 9+ years. Cool, so riding wasn't an option and to be totally honest I wasn’t that sad about it. I wasn’t ready. I’ve come to terms with where I am now in regards to my bike. I ride when I want, I’m riding a ton more dirt ( which I love, more on that later).
I’m spending time with the people I care most about. Things aren’t perfect, some health things have popped up and sometimes I’m still sad, but I’m not afraid of failure anymore. I’ve sat on the sidelines all season. I haven’t kitted up once. Actually the thought of kitting up makes me want to puke.
The other day I was scrolling through old pics and came across a photo of myself, Ashley and Fleur. Fleur and I were on the same team but Ashley wasn’t but we were instant teammates no matter what. Those photos sparked something in me. In New York in 2016 I saw the 2 of them go head first into the curb and laying on the ground I put myself between them and the coming racers in the last lap. In that moment we were more than bike racers. And I see these photos and they make me want to race or at least line up. So come July 22nd in London I’ll line up, ill prepared physically but mentally there to have fun and to not quit. I know I won’t have a successful race and I’m prepared mentally for that. So I’m ok lining up for failure. Because the success for me will just be the act of lining up. See you at Redhook!