As I creep towards the aged spinster, I wonder (a lot) about whether I am making the right decision in pursuing this cycling dream. A lot of people have asked if I will try to make Rio 2016 if I don’t make London 2012. And the answer is a tentative Yes.
For my entire life I’ve been in pursuit of the “next thing.” In high school, it was going to a good college. In college, it was doing service and finding a career that I found fulfilling. After college, things got more complicated as there was rarely a “next thing.” So I went back to graduate school, where the next thing became getting a good job. But then I settled in to the routine of a job and I was unfulfilled. I had friends, and a church that I enjoyed. I had nothing to be unfulfilled about. But there wasn’t a goal that lies ahead. And then I stumbled my sorry, unfit butt into development camp and made a pathetic showing at Road Nationals – and BAM! I had a new goal. I went to track nationals, was selected to go to Track Worlds and now I want to do well at Road Nationals/Parlaympic Trials in Augusta, GA.
Will I make it to London? Probably not. The odds are stacked against me. Six women want one spot. Am I closer than I was last year at this time? Of course. I understand what it takes to get a spot, I just need a little more time. I’ve come leaps and bounds from where I started. Cycling provides me not only with a “next thing,” but also with a way to challenge my body and mind.
What about getting married? There was a time when this was my goal. I love children and would love to have children of my own. And maybe I should focus on that part of my life more. But I’d like to believe that there is someone who would understand this crazy obsession and would choose to be a part of it. Relationships have fallen apart because I am tired from riding, I need recovery time. I don’t necessarily feel like dressing up and going out on a Saturday after I’ve ridden for five hours. If you don’t understand that part of my life, then you probably don’t belong there.
And so I return to the title of this post. Not to belittle or demean getting married, I’d love to get married. But for now, when I pull on that National Team kit and see what lies ahead (as gruesome and painful as that might be), I’m satisfied without the white dress.