Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hello again...

Normally when I take time off from blogging it's because I have nothing important or interesting enough to say. Usually it's at a time when I'm bogged down with training and working, or have better things going on (like when Anne was here last summer).

This time, though, the time between posts has been brought on not by having nothing to say, but having too much to say and not knowing how to say it all. When life is good, blog posts just flow. Easy enough-things that are fun are easy to write about. It's when life throws in some sour times is when it's hard to translate words to paper (or screen as it is).

The past weeks have been very difficult for me on a number of levels. Personal stuff, family stuff, and work stuff has just taken my mojo away for the time being. Interestingly, training has been the one place that I can find some sort of normality.

This is probably the first time in 15 years where I question my confidence on a daily basis. When I was younger, I was overweight and got bullied relentlessly. I never fought back with those who were aggressive toward me, but instead retreated to my own world-sports. At the time, I didn't play school sports like the other kids. Instead, I choose ice hockey, and looking back, there were probably a couple reasons for it. Number 1, I was AWAY from school, and therefore away from the kids that bullied me. They couldn't get to me if I wasn't there. And, number 2, (and I didn't realize this until just now) I probably chose ice hockey because you wore the most equipment, resulting in covering my overweight body and thus my biggest insecurity. Though I hated myself and the way I looked off the ice, I was free ON the ice to be the person I wanted to be. I looked just like everyone else, covered in pads and anonymous behind a helmet and facemask. In addition, I was actually good at it, which made things better. I was fast, I was strong, and I was aggressive. All these things helped to mold me into a better teenager, more confident and able to deal with the bullies that crowded my existence when I was at school. I would endure the school day to find my freedom on the ice. Though I was full of self doubt and self hatred most of the time, a whole different world was availible to me when I'd lace up my skates. Thank God for that.

I say all that to say that recently, for the first time in almost 2 decades, I feel like that fat kid again. It's terribly freightening to find that you don't have the same confidence and self assuredness that you've enjoyed for the last half of your life. It's not with sports, just with life. Sports has always been where I've found my confidence, and it's always bled over to the rest of my life. I'll make it through this rough patch I'm sure, but it will not be without some serious self reflexion and hard work.

So anyway, before this gets anymore depressing, training is going well. I feel stronger than ever on the bike, and I'm looking forward to racing next weekend. I had wanted to race this weekend in the NUE series at the Mohican 100, but because of the previously listed issues with my life, it's just not gonna work. Not to mention the fact that my bike broke-though I just picked up the replacement from Trek today!

So next weekend will be the Stoopid 50 fifty mile mountain bike race. I've done a six hour race before, but this will be my very first all out 50 miler. I'm disappointed that I'm not competing in the Mohican, but there will always be more races. For now, I'm excited to test myself in something completely new. The focus on this will surely help take a step to getting away from my inner 'fat kid'.

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