Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Laying in the African Sunshine

The more time I spend grocery shopping, training, and sitting together at meals, the more I realize how challenging, exciting, unique and insightful this phase of my life will be. I've begun the process of getting to know my new BMC teammates, but I learn a lot more form their mannerisms, actions, and laughs than I do from the words and thoughts they share... because those are usually in german or french...So far we have been having a great time down here in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
We've been down here about 10 days now, and its been so much more rewarding than my experience in SA last year when I blasted in and out with Troy Wells. We've gotten to ride with locals, hang out in town, check out local food and coffee, buy bananas from the roadside vendors... We've been able to lay in the afternoon sun, ride in the rain, cook together every night, rally our multivan on a safari and we raced together last saturday. And since I generally have pretty good company inside my own head, the german and french hasn't been too exhausting... I definitely can understand more of it that I can speak, so my ability to be part of the conversation is becoming easier with each day. I guess this is probably how children learn to speak huh... listen listen listen and finally it starts to click. It can be trying at times, but I guess this is kinda what I signed up for.
I think I am finally starting to relax after what has been a pretty insane month too. So much happened between coming back from Tucson and arriving here in SA; travel home, emotional stuff in Bozeman, packing up my house. So many little details needed to be addressed, and I feel like finally most of that has been taken care of. Its allowing me to lay in the grass after training, read my book, stretch and sleep well pretty much every night. A good place to be a few days before the first World Cup of the season.
The race we did last weekend was on the same track as the World Cup, and it was great for me to be able to get used to racing my big wheeled BMC... I'm hoping I got my mistakes out of the way for the trip. I had really good legs, but I was unable to escape the whole riding like a hack thing. I found myself not only on the ground due to my own hack-ness, but taking my teammate Reto out with me. It was devastating even though nothing really happened. We lost the Liam group, which would have put us near the top 10 instead of outside the top 15... but that 'what if' is/was still lingering. I think I would have been 7 places better had I not kept falling at very inopportune times, destroying my own rhythm as well as that of those around me.
I started some antibiotics last night... I feel fine today, but I think I definitely picked up a little stomach virus from the water or some unwashed fruit or something. We jumped on it though, only 6 hrs or so after I started to feel the telltale symptoms of it coming on. Hopefully tomorrow I'm back to 100%. I am definitely getting some good recovery in right now, so maybe the universe is just trying to slow me down a little bit so I can be primed for this world cup. Seem like it might be a little bit of a roundabout way to do it, but who am I to judge? I'll let you know how it goes.

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