Friday, January 29, 2010

It's not about the watts

Friday, 29 January

I am blue today.

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the death of two family friends in a preventable plane crash and the celebration of life/memorial service for another friend who recently lost a long battle with cancer. None was what you’d call a close personal friend, and yet they were all intertwined with my life and who I am and what I treasure in ways I come to appreciate more as time passes. Remembering them makes me realize how trivial the pursuit of watts, power, and speed really are in the big picture. That doesn’t mean I won’t be out training on my bike this weekend, but it does mean I will be using that time to enjoy the friends I’m riding with, the things I see, and the things I learn. Whether the end result is greater speed is not the most important thing in the world.

If I am, at lucky best, a mediocre bike racer, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because other things are important to me. After one particular thread of whining listserv email this week, a friend commented that you had to take but one look at Haiti to put all our bike racing quibbles--nay, our priorities--into perspective. I hope not to get so focused on my own goals and desires that I fail to cherish the people who make up my life. Sure, I’ll miss 350 watts when I can no longer pedal that hard, but not like I miss the people who’ve shaped whoever I am.

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