Anyone looking out the window these days in Alberta is probably finding it just a little bit hard to even think about getting out to train on the bike. With just over a week from the first race and just under a month to the first stage race it has definitely been a difficult year to find a consistent training regime. One week hot and then one week cold, it is a cruel thing to do to a cyclist but that is the nature of living in Alberta. As an athlete, albeit, a mature one, finding the extra spark to get out training in trying conditions is no easy feat but our community is pretty good at motivating each other with indoor group rides and training sessions as well as giving friends an extra nudge to ride outdoors when it’s just above freezing. Strava has also come in handy at motivating ourselves as we are able to see what our peers are doing… or not doing. Nevertheless, those first few rides of the year always (re)sparks the love of cycling and reminds us of why we enjoy the freedom to escape down the road. Independence, fresh air, meditation, anticipation, pain and suffering (think Silvertip climbs) and camaraderie with friends and team mates that is cycling.
This year I have a taken a slightly different approach as my goals are a little further out in the season and training has started late. I’ve jumped in to some extra volunteer work with the club and with the upcoming Tour of Alberta. The Tour of Alberta will be an awesome event and we have put together a strong group of committee leaders here in Canmore. Even the Town of Canmore has put their weight and support behind an event that will blow through downtown in less than 60 seconds. Perhaps we could name the downtown portion “gone in 60 seconds” but that is the nature of the sport. Lots of anticipation then fleeting moments. Our Town goes to great lengths to make things happen.
Cycling is more than just a sport, it’s a passionate group of encouraging people. As I’m reminded that the sport has given me back my fitness and new friendships I am feeling the need to reciprocate a little bit more to the community. As for passion I must admit that with my daughter getting bigger, older and more able (independent) I had secretly hoped that she too might become a bike racer (which she just well may in ten years) but at this point she is teaching us some great lessons about passion and anticipation, something I wish I could distill and put in my water bottle. Alison likes to ride her bike but she absolutely loves dancing and yesterday was her first ever ballet lesson. Now, she has participated in a few little critter bike races and has been pretty excited about them and the attention she gets but her excitement at those events was relative to the external experience. Taking her to her first lesson gave me one of those opportunities that makes being a parent a blessing. Watching her having a profoundly internal experience that she was in love with the freedom of dance will never be lost on me. I guess we could say it was her new found experience of movement which is such a key element of development and personal growth.
She will experience this in other ways and in other sports but the only thing that matters is that look on her face and her unbridled enthusiasm. It was special, it was magical and I feel blessed to have been there to see it. Moving on I am reminded that I must always try to find that sense of enthusiasm and make the world around us as awesome as possible or as Jeff from the Yoga Lounge likes to say… “Super Awesome.”