Time To Ride

After much contemplation, I’ve decided I want to compete in this year’s Canada Games.

I told you about last Thursday, when I broke down. That night I wrote two blog entries as something to do, and something to get all my thoughts out. The first one I wrote was about whether or not I should participate in Canada Games, and the second detailed how I was feeling that night. I posted the one about Games first. It was an experiment, and the next day I felt a lot better.

Have you ever flipped a coin for a decision that you couldn’t make and been dissatisfied with the outcome? As in, when it lands on heads for example, you’re disappointed with what the coin has decided for you. Well, that’s happened to me a lot and when I was younger, my dad used to say that if I didn’t like the outcome, then I should go with the other option, because I then knew which one I preferred. My Canada Games post was an experiment in that by asking readers to respond and either encourage me to compete or not, I was given a ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ outcome to which I could react. I wasn’t letting other people decide for me, I would decide for myself by reading the yeses or no’s and exploring how I felt about things myself.  

A yes made me smile, a no didn’t. By reading the comments on my post, I considered both outcomes of the ‘coin toss’ and realized what I really wanted. As it turns out, my 18 year old self wants the same thing as my 14 year old self would have. Seeing that I would have all this support was also a relief, and a massive motivator.

I’m fully aware that my decision to compete directly affects several people. Before I informed my coach of my wish to compete, I sent a message to the Team Manitoba boys who will be competing, as well as the boys who are trying out to possibly fill my position. I wanted to let them know that I want to compete, and provided a platform for an open discussion for anyone to voice their concerns. The general consensus was that I should race, as long as I commit to preparation, and am confident that it won’t be harmful to my mental health.

On Saturday night, two nights after having another glimpse of the bottom of the hole from which I’ve been ascending, I danced and sang on my own as I cooked myself dinner. I felt excitement and relief that I had made a decision which felt right. I continue to feel as if a corner has been turned. It took me hours to fall asleep as I struggled to contain my excitement for Games.

As I enter my last week and a half of school, I’m itching to get out ride. I don’t have a proper bike or kit here though, so I’ve been running a little bit and going for spins on the Bianchi. I’m heading home this weekend and I’ll be ‘racing’ elite crit provincials. The two month journey to Games will be a tough one. I have a long way to go in a short amount of time, and I anticipate ups and downs, setbacks and progress. I’m looking forward to a new approach to training. Or, perhaps, an old approach. A passion rather than an obligation.

I’m looking forward to having you Ride With Me to Games and to whatever comes next. I will need to think about that too. But not tonight.

Crit provincials last year. Photo taken by the one and only Courtney Molyneaux.

Crit provincials last year. Photo taken by the one and only Courtney Molyneaux.