Flight to Costa Rica: 4 Days 19 hours
Staring Line at La Ruta de los Conquistadores: 6 Days 18.5 hours.
What does race prep look like? Well, its not clean, that’s for damn sure. As I sit here in a robe and slippers, sipping my morning joe, I’m swallowed by doubt. Sure I know that cloud of unknown will lift just as the 5AM starting gun fires in 5 days, but for now, the questions are rapid fire: “Am I on the right bike?” “Did I plan my training appropriately?” “Should I bring different tires?” “What should my strategy be for pacing?” “Small, compact rain jacket or heavy duty cover?” “GU waffles or Honey Stinger?” …this list is endless.
A recent read, “The Icarus Deception”, renamed the “unknown” by referencing the “Lizard Brain”. I learned that as we approach an unknown element our prehistoric, hardwired response is to flee. FIND SAFETY! NOW!! This autonomic response leads us to pull back, step away from the void, and retreat to the safety of a road ride to Chatfield Reservoir and back. With plane tickets booked, race entry (that was a doozy) fulfilled, and hotels reserved, there is no retreat. The void, the unknown, well…I’ve got to learn to be friends with it. Quick.
I’m not afraid. No. The event, the challenge, the deep hole of grit-digging, pain-blocking, race-with-fury energy will all come to be. This period though, yes this moment of swirling questions feels almost impossible to navigate. So…I’m going for a ride. I will pack my gear back methodically. I will bring both GU AND Honey Stinger waffles. I will control the tasks in front of me. One problem. One action. 1 problem. 1 action. Continue.
Our life’s events, the real events, the events that you talk about through infinity are not the routine trip to the grocer. They aren’t that great night with friends around a game board. No, the events that itch that need for verification, not verification to somebody but verification to our right for human existence, must dance with the lizard. My quest finds fuel less in a need to check a box of accomplishment and more to exaggerate my privilege of being human. Of being alive! The anxiety, the doubt, and the excitement are all part of this crazy witches’ brew. So in the spirit of Halloween I encourage you to mix up your own batch and take a damn, long swig. Encounter your own lizard. Get vulnerable. Hit the green light on that stupid, crazy, unrealistic thing. I’ll be right here to share it with you.