Sunday, March 25, 2012

My window is 53.8km from Chamonix

I think I do my best thinking while lying on the floor after a training ride. Today, instead of chocolate milk like I usually have after training, I got a big slice of sober pie. It’s a lot like humble pie, but it tells you less about how cool you really are, and more about what your current predicament means for the coming days, weeks, months, years and ultimately the rest of you life.

You see, I moved into my new apartment in Fully today. Which in itself maybe isn’t such a big deal. I simply packed up my bags, and drove 30 km down the Valais from the comfort of the B&B I was staying at in Miege, to the reality of my little apartment, fully furnished and last decorated probably in the 1960’s. Ok, maybe the 50’s…

Its pretty hoke’y (no particular reference to Mitchell Hoke, but he’d get a kick out of it…) And although it would be cool to be living in some big flat in downtown Geneva, big cities nor interior decorating have ever big my thing. But there are lots and lots and lots of awesome mountains very extremely close to the said apartment, and those have always been my thing. Also, Julien lives right next door… so I have a great teammate and friend, good mountains, some coffee shops, and a good grocery all nearby, which means I think I'm pretty set.

The past month hasn’t felt permanent (In fact nothing really does… my life is full of various shades of temporary right now). I’ve been unpacking and repacking, catching airplanes, and exploring new places. I have been staying in B&B’s, getting food prepared and sheets cleaned for me. But that takes me back to laying on the floor, because all of sudden this felt permanent; or the closest thing to that recently. Even in college, the most permanent anything got was a yearlong lease… And yes I know I am coming back to the states in October (jeezo) but I’m back here next year too. The reality and magnitude of moving across the pond (in this too the reality that the Atlantic is no pond…) in order to chase some dreams about riding my bike in circles is hitting me. I’ve never lived in a single apartment before… much less in a new town, in a new country… on a new continent. The silence this afternoon was deafening, even with NPR blaring from my computer, the evening traffic outside my window and whistles from kids’ soccer games happening across the street. It wasn’t a bad silence, but one that makes you think; forces you to appreciate where you are and really examine your motives.

This isn’t glamorous, this isn’t always exciting… I miss my friends and family. It would be fun to be in Bozeman skiing and partying with my friends for sure. But somehow this seems right, its scary as hell let me tell you, but it too is fun… I had a blast down in South Africa, I love traveling and I put together a solid first World Cup. Not great but good enough to put me firmly in the Olympic conversation. I’m blown away by the incredible beauty of this place every time I step out the door (or look out the window). The riding is incredible. And with time (and French lessons) I will make friends here too, they wont replace the amazing ones I have back home, but they too will make this place a sort of home… So I guess maybe this journey in itself is my motive. I think in some ways riding is just a means to do something different and unique and powerful. Because I like seeing how other people live, and experiencing new places. Because I do like riding my bike in circles. Because change isn’t so scary as people think it is. Because I am done with college; because I would always wonder what if… and because regardless of how much I learn about this place, my friends, the world, I am gonna learn a hell of a lot about myself too. And I think that’s pretty damn valuable. Because I get to sit in this park surrounded by incredible mountains on a clear blue Sunday afternoon, watching kids of all ages kick soccer balls back and fourth, rollerblade and swing. Because I get to be with parents and friends and dogs sitting in the grass and on park benches appreciating just being here in this time and place. Sounds like a pretty good piece of pie.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at the April 9 Sports Illustrated and see on pages 6-7 a photo of Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic. I see a BMC rider on the far left hand side of the photo but it doesn't look like you. Check it out!