Monday, July 19, 2010

reconciling oneself

I fear my thoughts are leading me to become a broken record, one which is stuck on the refrain,
why am I doing this?

it happened to me yesterday when I was climbing the final mile to the top of big mountain.
and then a few more times over the next several hours before I was finally descending that same climb, heading toward home.

[let me give you a bit of history regarding big mountain, because I didn't realize this until just last month, and it's possible you don't know this. (it's also possible that you do, especially if you were a better Utah History or Geography student than I.)
background: I thought that little mountain and big mountain were just names us cyclists used to describe where we rode. how egocentric can I be? and where the heck did I go to school?
truth: pioneers 160 years ago called these places little mountain and big mountain. (I have been trying to research who gave them their names and when, and cannot find those answers. if you know, please let me know!)]

back to me: I cannot always reconcile myself with myself.

I love to be clean, to wear nice clothes, and to look, if not my best, at least good. I love comfortable temperatures, say sixty-five to about seventy-nine degrees. I love to curl up on my couch and read, and I love being productive whether it be working, writing, cleaning, or just in keeping on top of everyday life.

so why in God's name do I spend hours and hours each week sweating, straining, forcing my muscles and lungs to work lightyears beyond their comfort zones, getting dirty and looking like crap and hurting, hurting, aching, unable to talk because I can barely breathe? why do I do this?
rewards, yes, there are rewards. but honestly, truthfully, I'm not quite sure why I press so hard.
the answer doesn't take long to come to me:
yes I know why I do. it's because I can.
see, I've learned that I can do these things, and if I can, well then, why not?
(see reasons listed above, which I know you already know, because you're probably not as scary crazy as me.)

I keep doing this to myself.
in the past two and a half weeks since I've returned to riding post crash/surgical recovery, I have climbed the following hills and canyons:
american fork, mt. timpanogos side and from sundance up on the other side
little cottonwood, all the way to albion basin campground
big cottonwood
emigration, both sides
big mountain, both sides
morgan to east canyon dam
mountain dell to little dell
lamb's canyon
suncrest, both sides

in other words, just about everywhere along the wasatch front except city creek. (I'd better get there this week, hadn't I?)

now most of this has been in an effort to confirm for myself that I'm okay. that the nasty spill didn't hurt my strength or spirit. that I will not be defeated.
and the other piece of it is the big lotoja hanging out there: gotta keep moving forward, and forward draws me ever closer to the reason I train so hard all summer.

maybe next year I won't commit to lotoja.
maybe then I could ride less intensely, with less push.
maybe then I could stop asking myself why do I do this?

and then again, perhaps I will always be me: a woman who can't always reconcile herself with herself.

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