Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's all about the clothes, right?

Back in the day (like April), before all of my disposable income went to bikes, I loved the store Anthropologie. I like clothes. Now I can only walk past the storefront and remember a time when I wore more than spandex.

Last night, I got something I could never buy at Anthro: my team clothes. At the last camp, those of us that were new didn't have team clothes. Even at dinner one night, a waiter asked why we didn't match the rest of the team. I received a backpack full of USA clothes. This morning as I pulled on my USA Paralympic kit, I felt pride and some sort of fulfillment for all of my hard work. I know that I got here faster than some, but that doesn't take away any of the pride that you feel when you wear those colors in public for the first time.

There are a lot of things that I am sentimental about in my life. Most of the time, sports isn't a place to be a "girl" about things. Winning means pedaling faster and you don't pedal faster for any other reason than you work harder. Mean Coach bought me a "Man Up" shirt for a reason. But along the way, my girlness has some benefits. Everyone (just about) has the same track bag and do they often get confused. I wanted to put a patch on mine to mark it as mine. I asked a friend to look for a Notre Dame patch when he was at a game. The bookstore didn't have any - but a week later a strange package arrived from somewhere that is not South Bend. In it was a Notre Dame patch that my friend had ordered for me from eBay. Every time I see that patch I remember that he is rooting for me and pedal just a little bit faster! Thanks ChooChoo!!!!

Be careful what you pray for!

A few months ago, I sat on my road bike on the trainer in the infield of ADT velodrome and I was fervently wishing/praying/hoping that I would race fast enough to qualify for the World Championship team.  As I got bumped up to a C4, the National team coach came over and seemed to say that I had good chance of a discretionary nomination.  I raced, it didn't go well and I didn't know how to feel. I waited for the team to be announced.  A week later, the official announcement came and my name was on the list!  Woohoo!!!!!!

And then reality set in.  I've been seriously training on the track for about four months and in six weeks I'll be competing for my country for IPC points.  Points that could send another athlete to London or allow another country to take their own athlete.

Training since Nationals has been OK.  I was on track and then early in December I got the stomach flu and go sent home from training camp in San Diego. I was not pleased.   The three weeks following that were difficult on the legs.  They seem to be coming back now.

Tomorrow I will start my first training camp with the National Team.  I am scared out of my mind.  All of the thoughts of death and dismemberment that I had when I went to development camp in April may very well come true!  Development camp is all happy fun time!  Yay! We can go to the Paralympics!  Hooray bike riding!  Look at me at the OTC!!!  Now shit is getting real.  It's make or break time.