Saturday, August 18, 2007

On Rejuvenating

I believe my good K friend and I did a great thing today
and i Know we made someone
eXtremely happy.



For so long, I've trashed my body
over and over
and over and over
again and again
day in
day out
through the cold
the heat the humidity
the snow and wind

for no.real.purpose
Sure there were certainly times
where it was for training...big race days...

but it was always
always always
because i enjoyed it.
And when i don't enjoy it,
I take a week or a month off and
pick up my good 'ol running shoes.

Recently...I've been reaching for those
shoes a Lot...4 and 5 times a week, in fact.

But I think today I was maybe a bit
Maybe not enough to the point where I burst
off into my 60mile hill climbing loop
but I think that's because....I don't Need to be
slaughtering myself out there.
There hasn't been a time,
in a Long time,
that I've had a 'better' ride
than I had today.
My average = 12mph...for 10miles.
Something I could/would come close to doubling
on any other day...
But I would not have had it any other way.
there is something to be said for having 'good company'
and even more can be said when
.....seeing someone fall in love
.....when you see the light bulb go on because, in regards to shifting, she Finally 'gets it'
.....when she lets go of the fear, and accepts that she
doesn't Have to brake going down the hill....
....when she doesn't even second guess herself climbing
hills 3x longer than she's ever thought she would be
ready to attempt....and she reaches the top.

its SO about the wholeness that you feel...
that invincibility
its that Susan B. Anthony quote
"[Bicycling] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood."

That's what it is.
Its remember the first thing that motivated you to ride
Beyond riding around the country as a kid
I can distinctly remember my first sense of
'dedication' to cycling in that....
....all I wanted to do was to be able to
go on a ride with my sister, Amie,

and not
have to stop. And not have to have her wait for me
but to just ride with her, and finish.

And partially, that's why ....I have No desire to
ever do another bike race (okay, maybe a roller races or two...)

I have No need to prove myself. Because I already have.
and most importantly, I've proven it to me.
I could have all the medals/trophies in the world...
but they are Absolutely Nothing compared to riding
next to Amie as she [awfully out-of-tune] sings
Queen's Bicycling song

Yet, as important as that end goal was, I believe that that 'goal'
left my mind rather quickly.
Once I started riding, It didn't become about the goal
Nah, it became that view that was there when I crossed
Freeport road and climbed that [now] little hill
that peeked over a pasture filled with sheep
and just off to the right side
where the sun was always just about to set.
It was about that winding road that dipped down
and ran right over Sugar creek into a standing-room-only
climb up over by the cemetary. ...

But don't get me wrong. My goal still lingers.
When I go home to Sterling, one of the things I look
forward to the most is going and riding with Amie and Mat

and seeing all of the scenery that brought me to where
I am today

Maybe what I'm trying to get at is that I believe
in setting goals ....but not think about them on our way towards

Frankly, maybe for a moment this summer I was tired of bikes
I was tired of being seen as the biker girl
tired of people pressuring me to race
tired of training alone
tired of when i did ride with other people, of them feeling like we
had to hammer, because I'm Kim Topp, I'm supposed to be fast
...well haven't you ever heard of a 'recovery' day? let me just spin, dammit! :)
tired of it feeling like a religion that I could tell everyone about
but was struggling to believe in myself.

I still believe.

And today.
I believe more than ever.
My depth perception must have been off again
because this runs deeper than I thought it did.

I think tomorrow I'll do the 60mile ledges loop...
its got the scenery...

and for old times sake...I'll sing the Bicycle song.