Zen On Dirt

Embracing the Scary/Familiar

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Yesterday I did something that made me laugh.  I walked into the physics department at CU to fill out paper work to TA for the spring, the same as I had done in 2004.  I then proceeded to go outside, unlock my bike, put my helmet on, and pedaled off.  I pedaled up 13th street, through downtown Boulder, and up the same Broadway hill, and home on the same bike path.

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Sometimes I feel like I’m making giant circles in my life.  I’ve been here before.  I’ve done this before.  I’ve woken up far too early (for example: this morning) with the anxiety of knowing that for someone who has a deep set fear of talking in front of groups, the next five months of my life will involve significant amounts of it.  But I also know, that as a bike racer working on laying the foundation for the next steps in life, it is the single best job out there.

But the difference is, between 2004 and 2013, that while I still can’t sleep (aided by the cup of coffee that I absolutely felt like I needed at 4:30 in the morning), that this silly little anxiety doesn’t bother me anymore.  I know that while the idea of it spooks me, I do love the act of teaching.  I love the rewards of it.  I’m really loving the idea of a steady paycheck for at least a short period of time.

And so since I officially crossed teaching off of the ‘Fret-about’ mental list, my mind immediately went to the Iditabike.  I need to do this!  I need to do that!  I need to research this!  But then I realized that this too, like teaching, doesn’t deserve to be on the ‘fret-about’ list.

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I know how to do this.  The idea of it does far more than spook me (read: scared shitless of the idea of -40), but I can look at this fear for what it is: A story.  A story that I can read.  A story that I can study.  And from this studying, I can prepare.

I can get my gear together.  I can show up for each ride I do between now and then.  I can eat well and make both mind and body as strong and healthy as I can.  I can make sure I control for all the variables that are controllable.  And then to quote 45 Lessons from a 90 Year Old, I can ‘over prepare, and then go with the flow.’

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