Tomorrow there are three races around Omaha: a stage race in Sioux Falls, a crit in Des Moines, and Gravel Worlds in Lincoln. I'm missing them all in order to see my daughter's first soccer game. She played last season with a team of 3rd-4th graders who had all played together the year before. They simply annihilated teams, and since they finished undefeated, Abbey's never lost a sporting event.
But this season they're moving up to play against 5th and 6th-graders. Most of her team's that old, but Abbey's still only in 4th grade. She's big, fast, and pretty brave on defense, but many of these girls will be two years older than she is. The days of crushing other teams are over.
I can relate. I raced pretty well as a 4 and got killed when I made the jump to race Master's 1/2/3 with Rocknasium.
I'm going to ride hard in the morning before the game. I'm going to find the headwind and punish myself by attacking straight into it, over and over again. Maybe grappling with the wind will finally help me grasp the metaphor I've always rationally understood but never truly believed.
Fitness is slippery: sometimes you can touch it, but you can never hold it. You have to go slow before you can go fast, and sometimes you have to get weaker in order to get stronger. And no matter how tough you think you are, the legs, lungs, and heart will sometimes fail. Form comes and goes, and trying to hold on too long causes disaster. But I can't seem to stop trying.
With people, either. So there's the wind.