Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lost Athletic Goals

 After Saturday's Sweetlove Gravel Grinder I spent the rest of the weekend cleaning up the garage and getting our bikes ready for our trip to Bella Vista, AR.  I found a few old items including the below water bottles.  They reminded me of some of the crazy stuff I used to dream about doing.  Some I was fortunate to achieve but most lost.

The Western States Endurance Run. A 100 trail race in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  I somehow caught this trail running bug back in 1992. It was around the same time that I started doing all these insanely long rides and runs.  Not to mention a few Ironman Triathlons.  I worked my way up to 50 mile trail runs, but never did make it to Western States.  That is one goal I am glad I lost.  One thing I was never good at is running.  Then again most slow runners do make great Ultra marathon runners.

Over 30 years ago I had some big athletic goals.  I actually believed that I had the skills to become a professional motocross racers.  I did have some talent and was crazy enough as a young man, maybe too crazy and sustained some serious injuries. It took me many, many years to ride that fine line between going extremely fast and crashing.

I can remember racing with my brothers like it was yesterday. We all did some stupid insane stuff.  I am not talking about having race numbers #911 and #666.  What that heck were we thinking?

I wish I had pictures of some of the things we used to do as kids.  I found this gem when I had this great idea to become a dare devil. That was my big goal back in 1980. I failed at that.  No one wants to see a kid jump a Kubota tractor.
That is me in 4th position.  Keeping up front in a road race in Tampa, FL.  My road racing career was hit and miss.  I got into it really heavy for a few years.  Won a handful of races.  I think if I had stayed single I would have continued up through the ranks.
It is kind of sad to think of all the goals you have had over the years.  Most are never reached - with me they were lost to injuries, lack of support and some really bad luck (if I just had tubeless tires when I raced mountain bikes seriously).  Some goals kind of just faded away slowly.
 You keep trying to reach them but most of the time seem to painfully fall just short of reaching them.   The one thing that keeps me going is that every once in awhile you reach your goals. You have that perfect day. I am hoping in 2014 I can have a few of those days.

I only bring all this up because this may be my last year of racing.  Christopher is all grown up and has lost interest in riding all together.  Carolynn and Christopher have both competed with me over the years.  It has been one of the things we have done together.  Carolynn still really enjoys riding but racing not so much.  She would like to do a triathlon and maybe an adventure race but it would be more for a personal challenge.

Back to goals.  I really do not have many this year.  Many are just completion type goals.  For example I want to finish the Ouachita Challenge and I want to finish a tandem cycling tour with Carolynn.  If my summer goes well I may just line up for  season of cyclocross this year.  Next year in cross I will be racing with the 50+ guys.  Damn I feel really really old.  Maybe it is time to give all this racing stuff.  But then again they say your racing career starts over once you hit 50 :-)

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