Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's no I in Quit

My primary purpose in signing up for BCBR was to legitimize spending a week in BC hanging out and biking with Erik and our friends. But, as it turns out, I got a lot out of it.

As far as performance expectations went, its safe to say that I had none. Everyone has a desire to do well but, as I discovered, there is an enormous difference between a desire and an expectation. By some stroke of chance, I ended up in a position to podium in a major race, without having to do the training/preparation/sacrifice that would normally be required to arrive there. These opportunities don't come along often. Suddenly, how I placed really mattered to me.

On Day 1, there was only a 2 minute gap between retaining that podium spot and disappearing into irrelevance. The thought that I would have to race six more stages with such a thin margin was daunting. What was the girl behind me good at? What were her weaknesses? Which one of us would tomorrows stage favour? With every day that passed, my invested effort compounded and there was more on the line. .

Although I was able to build the gap over the first few days, I could never shake the feeling that I might lose that spot on the podium. When I was feeling horrible on Day 6 (in its entirety), it was not an option to dial it down. No time to waste. It took the fun out of a stage that should have been a blast. But I wasn't going to give this up without a fight. There's no I in quit.

In the end, I was able to hold my spot on the podium. But, I came away with something better than a trophy. You see, I have a number of friends that regularly do well at races. I've always had immense respect for their physical capabilities, and I naively thought that I had an appreciation for what they do because I participate in races. What I couldn't appreciate is what it feels like when it really matters how you finish (Mical, I don't know how you do it. You are one strong woman). Thanks to BC Bike Race, I have a little sense for that now.

(As for the title of this post, Pat Doyle came up with this quote at the start of one of the stages. It still makes me laugh out loud and this seemed like a decent opportunity to use it).


Blogger BikingBakke said...

I keep trying to mention in different ways... and it's true... you're a champ inside, it's just you pretend you don't know it yet.

July 20, 2009 at 3:51:00 PM MDT  

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