This past week I was supposed to train for a week in San Diego with two members of the National team. Unfortunately, on Saturday I woke up sick. I thought I was better on Monday and headed down to San Diego. Not so much. The ride on Tuesday was not so good. I'm not good at climbing - we know this. I probably carry a few extra pounds for a climber and my legs just don't have the gusto (yet) to climb for very long. I wasn't holding down any calories and even water wasn't staying down. But I finished the four hour ride. On Wednesday, we were supposed to ride with a large group of "normal" people. I made it to the start point, barely. Then on the first hill coach told me that I was done and needed to go home.
Now, for those of you who know me in "real life," I don't handle being told that I can't or shouldn't do something. So I cried for the next ten miles, then started to push it a little bit and started throwing up again. At the end of the ride, Coach told me again that I needed to go home and get better. In my mind, I was being a quitter. I don't quit. If I said I was going to do something - then for the love of all that is good and Holy - I am going to do it. I was mad, disappointed and my feelings were hurt that he didn't think I could do it.
But I headed home and slept for most of Thursday and Friday. I rode a little on Friday and then I did a three hour ride today. I guess I was a little sick and it probably was the best decision to rest. I'm still not happy about that decision. I wanted to learn from the people I was riding with. Just in the two days that I rode with them, I learned so much - just by watching what gears they rode in, what they ate; mostly stuff that is common sense to people who have been racing for years. But not to me.
Today, in mass, Msgr told a story about a professor and a master. The professor asked the master how he could be happy in life. The master got up and made some tea. He brought the tea pot over and began to pour the tea into the professor's cup. He kept pouring and pouring and pouring and pouring. The cup began to overflow. Then the tea began to cascade down the table. At some point, the professor asked the master what on earth he was doing! The master replied that we are all like the cup - we are filled with "stuff." We are filled with our opinions and thoughts and judgments. Until we learn to empty ourselves of all of that, we can't be filled with the knowledge of others.
This story meant a lot to me because I was really mad that I got sent home. I COULD have trained all week. I know I could have pushed through. And in my mind, that was the right thing to do. But I didn't stop to think that maybe Coach knows more than I do - and he does. I was so full of my own thoughts and ideas about the week I wasn't able to see what was happening to my own body, listen to someone else and do the right thing. Thankfully, I trust my coach enough to realize that he does more than me and I listened. Not before I made a big fool of myself by throwing a temper tantrum and being all grumpy for a few days.