Monday: Woke up feeling hungover and frantically calling doctors. "Hello! I need to see a doctor ASAP. I'm trying to be a professional bike racer and need to get back on my bike."--As if my pursuit had great importance to the doctors or to the admin aids. At best they thought it was cute and were humored by me. Regardless, I got in. I have normal symptoms of a concussion. My "wizardly" inner ear crystals were knocked lose when I hit my head and it's normal to have vertigo weeks later. I went through a series of procedures to get my dark crystals realigned and then got the doctor’s clearance to go ahead and ride. He told me I’m not going to “relapse” and BPV (the fancy acronym for the condition) occurs when waking and when lying down. He said the symptoms would go away completely in a few days. In the meantime, I have a headache. Yuk. But surprisingly, I feel better when I’m on the bike than when I’m off the bike. I think it’s the fresh air and sunshine that makes me feel better. I’m sure of it.
Today: The vertigo for me was another sign I need to really take care of myself. Although the doctor reassured me it wasn’t related to my diet, it was still a reminder that toxins=slow bike racer. And since my energy, thoughts, passion, drive, and motivation all lie within the dream to be a pro bike racer, I started re-evaluating my habits.
The first habit to evaluate is naturally food. I just finished up 7.5 days of a 21 day cleanse called the Standard Process Purification cleanse. Basically, you eat living foods and no preservatives. You take whole food supplements (UCI approved—I was religious about checking on this.) made of plant-based substances—no chemicals. You’re supposed to do this for 21 days, but I only made it 7 because of my vertigo scare and also because I’m weak on the bike (carrots don’t make good bike snacks) and it’s time for me to start ramping up—my collarbone is practically healed. Weak=Slow, which is fine when I’m supposed to be going slow.
The second habit is cleansing myself of toxins such as worry thoughts, spite, jealousy, anger, regret, and other negative anxiety. Sure, all these emotions have their place, but harboring on any of them only equals unnecessary suffering … and a lot of stress. Stress=Fatigue. I accepted that I am guilty of a lot of the same feelings that I judge others for having towards me. I also knew this deep down inside, but I never really wanted to examine that aspect of myself—as it hurts sometimes to be honest and it’s hard to let go of shoulds and shouldn’ts.
Although I will never be “thankful” for being injured, it did give me an opportunity to slow down and get back to the fundamentals that I want to embody as a person and a bike racer. A couple things hit home.
- Never take away anyone’s win. (I think heard this from Jennie Reed once and it really it home.) Each race is different. Each person is different. Each race means something to every person. This means being happy for other’s successes. Never say, “Congratulations on the win. I dropped my chain back there.” Or “Great race. I’m just getting back from an injury.” Or “Nice job. This is a training race for me.” How about just “Great job. You looked good out there.” I think we (I am definitely included) as competitors have this need to make sure people know we, too, are fierce and capable of the win. I think when I’ve said this before, it’s because I needed to reassure myself that I’m capable of the win by saying it aloud. But I think that feeds those worry thoughts instead of accepting today and moving on.
- Encourage and support people with talent and/or drive to be the best person they can be. It’s funny. This seems like a natural thing to do—but I noticed with myself this is easy to do when people are way out of my league (in either direction) because we are not that similar. But when someone is similar, then they become a threat. If we were animals…wolves maybe…we’d be fighting for pack leader. But this, too, is a toxin. So, I am challenging myself to look at my thoughts of anger, jealousy, hurt, etc. and try to figure out what’s really eating Gilbert Grape? No, I mean me and turn it into support and encouragement for that person. Everyone goes through shit. Everyone has bad days. Everyone reacts in a non-PR way. Why try not to see it from the other person's perspective instead assuming the worst? Cause it's harder to do that. I do that all the time...and then I feel guilt. The thing is if I spend time harping over someone or the situation, they must mean something to me, even if it is masked by an “easy” emotion. It’s easy to react in anger and hold grudges. I find it’s much harder to be kind. And that’s what I want to do more than 80% of the time like I normally do...ok...65%.
Now then, when am I going to stop blogging and being introspective and start racing? I'll start PR and Seward maybe next week? I'm aiming for beginning of June to start ramping it up again. Look out!