Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Off-Season

March has been here for over a week. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, I think Mother Nature is finally getting the word from Spring but she's been pretty damn fussy and is threatening at least one more flurry before she's done. If you are in SoCal, the Southwest, Florida or another place it's been warm all winter, we all hate you but would appreciate an invite next year.

Me? I'm okay with the cold weather I guess. I wish you got upgrade points for hours spent outside in weather under 30 degrees by themselves..but they don't.

Anyways, now is about the time you start seeing people that you know (not professional bike racers) post pictures of them in exotic training locations or doing massive miles between races. Good for them. I'm hear to tell you to not stress. It's March. They are eager. They beat you in training in March. Sure, they probably will be better than you for most of the year too but whateves. Also, oftentimes people say that those going well early will burn out by so and so date. Sometimes that happens. Usually not.

I'm going to switch things up a bit this year and not give a shit. I'm going to 'race into shape'. I'm going to get my ass dropped so often this spring  that I will actually consider quitting this stupid sport and spend more time with my family.  Nooo, we wouldn't want that, would we? I spent the most time off the bike than I ever have since I started bike racing this offseason. Hell, MY off-season consisted of at least two IN-SEASONS for other people I know. You know what? It was awesome. Let me exsplain.

I ate whatever I wanted. People would ask me if I wanted more just to be polite and when I said 'Yes' a shock was felt around the kitchen table. I had ice cream. A lot. I had beer. A lot. It was good. I shared these things with 'normal' people at normal events while often times STANDING.  You know the 'normal people' i'm talking about right, the kind that aren't obsessed with a power to weight ratio of handlebar tape or how your power numbers cannot be accurate because of calibration issues.

My free time opened up. I learned that I didn't have to make the group ride every day. By letting go of that, people in my life who depended on me could depend on me. I worked around their schedules rather than the other way around. Who knew other people wanted to do stuff other than let me ride my bike? I got bonus points. Bonus points lead to other happy things.

I got into other things besides biking. I learned to fix things. I picked up my guitar and played songs I haven't played well in years, I binge watched Netflix shows (while not on the trainer), I beat Grand Theft Auto. My life was full.

Life was great. I was actually considering not racing next year. Hell, SUP paddleboarding looks preety rad, right? I mean, CrossFit too!

But then one day I struggled. Struggled to button my 'loose' fitting pants. I knew things were getting bad earlier in the week while shopping for shoes and I was only considering slip-ons.

Nope. I call bull-shit. That ain't happening to me. Time to stop having fun and get things going. No more beer. No more ice-cream. Track the calories. Ride the bike. Log the miles. Intervals. Groups. Strava. KOM. PR. Wko. Compete. Win. Loose. Have fun on the bike.

Routine. I was missing cycling from my routine. Without it, I was turning into your everyday average suburban dude who didn't want to miss the grill sale at Home Depot. But with it, I'm a fucking SUPERMAN. With the cycling, my body fat percentage is in the single digits. I look younger than my neighbor's kids.  When I got to the doctor, they freak out about my heart rate.  I eat better. I feel better. I have more energy. I'm more tired too. With cycling, I have something in my life that is constant, that takes me away from the stress of everyday life. I get creative ideas on the bike..like this blog.

So 2014 is here and bike racing is upon us. I say BRING IT. I might not start strong this year but I'll figure it out and we'll all have a gay time enjoying my own droppage, which I will post here if I get caught.

How was your off-season? Who is the next big thing? We want to hear it. Comments. Below.

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