It’s the morning of my first bike race. I go through my typical morning routine – routine will you free, they say. I’m careful not to eat anything I wouldn’t typically eat so I have the breakfast that’s been my usual the last couple weeks. Two pieces of toast with jam, two eggs sunny side up with half an avocado on top. Ever since I got food poisoning the day before my first marathon, I’ve learned not to deviate too much from routine. In an hour or so I’ll have a smoothie and a small bowl of oatmeal and then nothing more until the race.
I feel the nervousness and excitement I’ve read and heard my coworkers talk about, and remember just a bit from running races I’ve done, only this time it’s much more. In a bike race nobody cares about your time or the fact that you finished. They care about how you placed. It’s a race in the truest sense of the word, and the uncertainty of how or whether your body will perform in the competition is a feeling I haven’t felt for literally over a decade since I stopped playing basketball. And, it’s not an unpleasant feeling – I feel like I’m standing on the edge, the same exhilarating and beautiful fear I feel at the top of an impossibly steep ski run, about to make a turn I HAVE to complete, or else.
I think I could get used to this.