Monday, August 29, 2016

59 Weeks -- Would-Be Weekend Warrior to World Championships

In mid-October of 2017, the Master's World Championships in track cycling will be held in Carson, California (by Los Angeles).  I want to be there.  To race.  To ride as fast as my much-better-trained-by-then legs and heart will drive me.  And I want to do well.

There.  I wrote it in public.  It is out there for the world to see--or at least those few who read my blog.  It is my line in the sand.  And it is a bit scary.  More than a bit daunting.  But also rather flip-flopping in the stomach exciting.

59 weeks is a long time.  Not as long as an elephant's gestation period, but still seems like a long time to me.  At least a long time to have a disciplined, persistent focus on one thing.  Certainly this will not be the "one thing" that I do for the next 59 weeks.  I do have a day job and family and a few friends.  But for the next 59 weeks I want to pursue this task, this activity, this accomplishment, this endeavor, with more discipline, focus, and determination than I can recall applying to any particular task (apart from law school).  Frankly, I hope that I can do this, but I do not know.

59 weeks of focused and directed training.  59 weeks of eating to fuel the training and racing.  59 weeks of consistently being in the weight room.  59 weeks of getting at it day after day after day.

I am certain that there will be days when the last thing that I want to do is another dead lift or to get on the bike for another round of sprint intervals.  There will be days when I just want to sleep in.  Or eat a big piece of cake with ice cream.  Or "just watch."  But this is an opportunity that I do not want to pass up only to regret it later when it truly would be too late.

J.I. Packer drew the contrast between "balconeers" and travelers in Knowing God.  The balconeers sat in safe and comfortable chairs above the clamor and dust of the road below.  The balconeers had a running commentary about how the travelers could improve their journey or travel "better."  The balconeers were experts in all areas of their observations and imaginations--but they never actually went anywhere.  The travelers got tired and dirty and took the occasional wrong turn, but at least they got to experience the journey firsthand.  That is what I want from what remains of my life here on earth--to be in the mix and not on the couch.  And my place to start is the next 59 weeks.

Since moving to Houston I have been fortunate to be able to race with the NWCC (Northwest Cycling Club) Race Team and with some friendly and encouraging teammates.  A few of us are targeting the 2017 Master's Worlds and it will be great to have some other travelers to share the journey with.  

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