I just want to cry. I’ve been under so much pressure leading up to this race, that this was bound to happen. This is the post I never wanted to write. I should be talking about the great experience I had at A Healthy U conference in NYC in this space today, but instead, you’re getting this. What is this? This is my meltdown about what happened all day Monday and how I’m trying to come to terms with it.
Obviously this trip to Spain has a lot of moving parts. My binder for the trip is divided into about seven but, in my mind, there are two. The first is getting my family (husband, kids, dad and stepmom and myself) to Spain. I’ve been the lead in booking all flights, hotels, trains and car rentals. I’m also in change of all the fun details like plug adaptors, battery chargers, the boys’ entertainment (i.e. Leap Pad upgrades), passports, calling the post office, credit card companies and cell phone companies, and on and on and on and on.
Part two (did you forget after that list?) is the actual race! The details of that also go on and on and on and on, and I won’t bore you. You can imagine.
One very large “detail” is getting my bike to Spain. By chance, CRS (Coach Rocket Scientist) mentioned in an email that her husband’s bike was being picked-up by the shipping company on Wednesday (yes, he’s racing too!). We’re using different companies but, this prompted me to check-in with my company. I had been told by them that I would be able to ship my bike one week prior to the race. This seemed odd since I had to ship it almost three weeks in advance to get to Tucson for Nationals but hey, I have enough to do without questioning them. They are the professionals, right? WRONG.
I called them and was greeted with “Oh no!” (which is never good) followed by “You should have been on the list by now and I think it’s been finalized.” Cue heart attack #1.
To their credit, they called back after
realizing they could rake in more cash some finagling on their part and said they could add me if I could get all the paperwork done that day. So I cleared my day, and collected every number on my bike (there are a lot!) and after several emails/phone calls back and forth and paying a small fortune, it was confirmed that I could ship my bike out on Friday.
Wait. I’m sorry, did you say Friday? You couldn’t possibly have said Friday because I have a very important race that I need my bike for on Sunday. Cue heart attack #2.
I tried not to panic when the realization of what he said hit me. I swear it was like in the movies when everything slows down and you can’t hear anything but your heart about to beat out of your chest. If I was actually in a horror film (instead of living one!) I would have downed a shot of Patron. But I needed to stay level-headed.
I calmly told him that would be fine (because what else could I do?) and then started thinking of every conceivable way I could get another bike to ride on Sunday.
The race on Sunday is very important. It’s comparable to the actual race I’m doing in Spain, and for six months I have been training for it, as well as Spain. It will be the barometer of how I can expect to do at Worlds. It’s very, very important.
I tried to forget for a moment, that I would actually not be riding my bike for this race. If you’re not a cyclist, you’re probably wondering what the fuss is all about (as my husband did) but your bike is like your kid. Yes, I’m equating the two. They’re alike in that you know everything about your child’s personality (or gears), what may put him over the edge in a given situation (how touchy your brakes are) or what he needs to behave his best like sleep (grease), food (air in the tires) and a new toy – ok I got nothin’ here – but you get my point. When I’m riding, my bike is like an extension of me. It flows.
How the hell am I going to get another bike, fit it to me and ride it enough to be comfortable (while tapering!) by Sunday?
Cue heart attack #3.
As all of this was settling into my frantic brain, I decided to call the smartest woman I know – CRS! She stayed calm. She suggested I first call bike shops and then think of anyone and everyone I may know who has a high end bike I could borrow. She also said, if worse came to worse, I could ride hers! Now she seriously considers her bike as one of her children. She had mentioned to me several times that she doesn’t let even her husband touch it. I gasped when she said this and immediately pictured myself crashing it. Yep, I’m a real glass-is-half-full kinda girl.
I called every bike shop I know. I even bothered one of my good friends who was vacationing in Florida (I did not know this at the time!) because he has a good friend who owns a shop. No luck. Basically no bike shops rent high end bikes.
I started calling friends. My very first call was to a great friend who rides a ton and has a great bike. She immediately offered it to me and I couldn’t have been happier. Crisis averted! We were set to meet Tuesday night, ride together and then I would take her bike so I could have it fitted to me, the next day. Hallelujah!
She called me at 7pm that night to say she went on a group ride and her derailer fell off.
Cue heart attack #4.
That’s when I lost it. I was in my kitchen cooking salmon and roasting vegetables and I just covered my face and cried. Sobbed.
Then I collected myself and ate because I was starving and really, that eclipses even a meltdown.
I texted CRS with the latest news and she texted me this:
Can you tell I was hanging by a thread?
On Wednesday afternoon we met up to figure out how my 5 foot nothing body was going to fit on her 5 foot 4 bike frame. If anyone could do it, it was CRS – and she did. Even better – she lives on the bike course of the race, so I was able to ride the whole thing on her bike, and really build my confidence. Clearly, I need to pay her way to Spain now. She is amazing. Truly.
I’m still very nervous about riding her bike on Sunday but I decided, while on that training ride Wednesday, that I AM READY!
I also remembered what Don Sinkfield, LMHC, said at A Healthy U conference last weekend:
“Your mind doesn’t know the difference between visualizing success and actually being successful. If you practice it enough in your mind, your body will already believe you have done it, and rise to the occasion.”
I’ll be thinking about successfully running and biking the hell out of this race for the next two days. I have to believe that I’ve trained hard enough and that I will succeed, no matter what bike I’m riding!
See – I ended up talking about A Healthy U anyway because it was just.that.good.
What was the last crisis you had? What was the outcome?
Are you an optimist or pessimist?