Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's My Life

This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky
Got to make your own breaks

It's my life
And it's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just want to live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life

It’s a little embarrassing when the cheesy pseudo-inspirational music piped into the gym becomes actually inspiring, especially when it’s an extra-cheesy Bon-Jovi-for-the-millennium ditty that I never liked when it was at the height of its popularity. However, as I was working through my (still) assisted pull-ups on Monday, I caught the bit about Tommy and Gina who never backed down. It struck a chord with me, referencing the Bon-Jovi-for-the-time-period-Bon-Jovi anthem that I parodied into the name of this now nine-year-old blog.

For three weekends in a row, my progress has stagnated in different ways, and the weeks before Wilderness 101 are ticking away way too quickly. This has pulled my thoughts away from signs that this might finally be my breakout year to how little permanent improvement I’ve really made after ten years in this sport, how I’m approaching an age where improving on my decade of mediocrity will only become more difficult, and worrying about many other little things that I can’t very well answer, like if birth control is making me fat and slow. (Yes, I’m aware that pregnancy would also make me fat and slow, but how much does that even apply, now that I’m “old”?) Suddenly, the cheesy song seemed to answer my doubts line by line (save the birth control thing).

I often get frustrated that at how little I have to show for my years of riding and feel like there’s something wrong with me because it seems that most average cyclists would not take as long as I have to be fit enough to finish mid-pack in a race like the Wilderness 101. Even now, I’m only getting close because of laser focus on that objective with a lot of short-term sacrifice of any other bike-related goals. Still, it means something that I never (completely) gave up on the sport that’s held my imagination for all of this time. Although Tommy and Gina could have used some coaching on S.M.A.R.T. goals, as “making it” was always a bit vague, apparently they never backed down, and neither did I.

Now I’m really close to accomplishing a big goal that I’ll be very proud of if it comes together, but I almost feel like I’m not allowed to be proud because it’s not that big of an accomplishment by other people’s standards. It’s not truly now or never, as I’m not really that old, but I think that maybe this will be the year of my actually doing the thing I set out to do. As I've mentioned before, whenever I actually manage to do the thing I set out to do, it's huge for me. The journey hasn’t been ideal, but it’s been mine, and there’s more to come. When it comes down to it, I just really want to keep improving as much as I can for as long as I can. Or, you know, live while I’m alive.

No comments: