That, plus Adam's comment in Transition, plus a conversation I had at Natz with a fellow Midwesterner, got me thinking: Am I in over my head with this? I'm guessing there are a few of my fellow competitors who, behind my back, may be having a blast poking fun at me and calling me "poseur." I mean, who the heck doesn't podium in a local race and then lines up at Elite Natz? Who springs for a new ride, setting up a totally pimped-out rig, based on dreams but no results? But then again, all the girls say I'm pretty fly (for a white guy).
It was a little embarrassing at the Illinois Championships that they kept announcing my impending trip to Providence, even as I slowly lost ground to Gatto and Silvia, not to mention Sachs, Williamson, Conant and Kuhn. Especially because on another (read: dryer) day, I might have been fighting Lou instead, chasing a podium spot.
I feel a little better after last weekend's trip to Palos -- at a certain level, I can see that some of the work is starting to pay off. I have a long way to go, but I'm hoping I'll see at least some baby steps forward this weekend at Groundhog ... enough, at least, to feel like I'm doing the right things! The reality is, I want those UCI points more than any goal I've set for myself in the recent past, so I want to be sure I'm doing what I need to do to get there!
And the truth of the matter is, even if everyone around me isn't thinking I'm a joke, I'm going to imagine that they are -- for me, it's motivation. Until I have focused on it, and given 'cross the same due that I've given the road for the past few years, I can't make any judgments about whether I'm worthy or not … no one can. That's what's so exciting about 'cross, much more so than the road -- anything can happen, on any given day. Road events are much more predictable, but 'cross keeps you on the edge of your saddle … from one minute to the next, you never know what's around the bend.
So am I over my head? Maybe. Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I'm going to spend the next 7 months preparing to ride as fast as I can once the leaves start falling. My skills with a bowstaff will only improve, so watch out at next year's elections!
ONLY 304 DAYS TO NATZ!!