Sunday, July 1, 2012

Taking the long way home

I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep at all last night... it wasn’t for lack of trying however. I went to bed at a little after midnight knowing that in an hour or two my teammates would come home from the post-world cup party we were at and proceed to wake me up. So of course, once that seed was planted I didn’t sleep. And then once things did quiet down around two, I laid in bed awaiting the sound of my alarm set at three. Yes, your math is correct, that means I was in bed for about two and a half hours. On the bright side it meant that I arrived in Albany with Marc and the US Devo kids with plenty of time to catch the earlier flight to Newark from Albany; an opportunity for fifteen or twenty minutes of sleep. And I surely slept on the hard, dirty, carpeted floor of the C-Terminal at Newark International airport for at least twenty more minutes during the eight plus hours I just spend in that godforsaken airport. I’m currently somewhere above Indiana I think... en-route to my other least favorite airport, Chicago O’Hare... Where I hope I don’t get to spend the night. My itinerary has changed twice today... not to mention delayed a dozen times or more. I hope my bags show up sometime tomorrow... Its not like I expect to be awake at all though. It’s a little comforting to know that my competition this coming weekend at US Nationals is all going through the exact same thing... Sounds like Sam might get to Missoula tomorrow. Not that I wish this on anyone, it's just good to know I'm not the only one living in airports today. I’m kinda proud of how cool I’ve kept through the day to be completely honest. I’m not sure if I am somewhat admirably coming to realize that there are much more important things to worry about (normally I’d be throwing internal temper tantrums if I was sitting on the tarmac for two hours) or if I just don’t have the energy. I’m kinda thinking it’s the latter. Perhaps though it’s just a comic and fitting way for the universe to get me home. My final destination is a couch in Bozeman, and after nineteen weeks (yes, that’s like four and half months) of being away, what is six more hours really going to do? Nada. It’s been the story of my season up to this point; long drawn out fights getting where I want to go. Whether that means the Olympic selection coming down to the final World Cup and a completely discretionary selection... or examining where I am (physically and emotionally), what I am doing and where I am going... Finding value and substance as I enter this new phase of my life... assessing how to use my energy... All of these and more have been good fights, but none that have come easily this spring. But now as we enter the Dog Days of Summer on this July first, I am in different place than I was when I left cold Montana all those months ago. Its come at a high price but, just as the snow has likely melted off the Bridgers, I feel like some heavy things have melted away into my past too... I feel like there is some clarity. I’ve got a better grasp on where my roots have grown... what’s keeping me upright. I had a pretty miserable reintroduction to North America the past ten days. I bounced off a lot of trees and did some penguin slides in the mud in Mont-Ste-Anne, and after being sick all week in New York my legs decided they didn’t want to go go go like I wanted them to. After two laps I saw the writing on the wall and pulled the plug with eerily little hesitation. Time will tell what happens at Nationals and at the Missoula Pro XCT. I know I have it in me to make some crazy good things happen... but maybe this whole Visa overstay is a blessing in disguise, because it means that instead of going back over to alonely apartment and bouncing off trees at the back of a world cup, ill get to take some time off the bike, backpack a little bit and then spend 4 weeks training at home, at altitude for what its worth, before making a final push for the final couple BMC Cups in Switzerland and World Championships. The way I see it, no matter what, amazing can happen both on and off the bike. That is clear too.

1 comment:

  1. Stephen,

    Mtn Bike Action had a picture of you and your name in the caption. It was in their coverage of Sea Otter in the current issue!

    Chris Mingo