Monday, June 10, 2013

These Are The Good Old Days

That’s me at the front of this small pack. The really fast guys are long gone!
Thirty years ago today I graduated from high school. Back then I had good size, reasonable speed and more agility than you might expect, but I failed to distinguish myself as an athlete. My few moments of greatness as a baseball player in the summer youth leagues were widely dispersed. For my alma mater I earned just one varsity letter: cross-country running, 1981. To my enduring shame, I quit the team as a senior. I had neglected to train properly over the summer of 1982 and the combination of shin splints and poor race results that followed was embarrassing. When high school ended, my athletic and academic records mirrored each other: I was a kid with plenty of natural gifts whose full potential was left unrealized due to a lack of discipline.

In the two decades that followed I enjoyed softball but it didn’t demand much training. I was a player but not an athlete. Cycling brought me back to athleticism as a way of life, tentatively in 2003 and then earnestly in 2004. Since committing myself to the sport, each year has had its triumphs. I think I’m still on the way up, with bigger and better achievements ahead. And there are so many different ways to enjoy cycling that I expect to find new challenges far into the future.

I thought a little about the past today but I didn’t long to return to it. That’s not just a mature acceptance of a reality I cannot change, it’s also an acknowledgment that what I have now is very close to what I want. So much of my satisfaction with life comes from my family, and they don’t get enough credit in these blog posts. But what I make of myself by myself for myself, I make on the bike.

No comments:

Post a Comment