walking across the REI parking lot yesterday I saw a big, bronze, mud-splattered truck in the parking lot. a company logo was plastered on the driver's door, the words Teton Whitewater prominent under an outline of mountain peaks.
a zig of excitement ran through me.
then a smile took over my face.
I was happy.
tomorrow is the Big Day, the day I spend entirely too much of my year training for, the day that sits in the back of my mind, always, the day that strikes fear in hearts across the nation. well, maybe not that last one.
tomorrow is lotoja, and I am not only ready to ride the thing, I am even a bit more excited than usual. and it's not just anxious excitement, it's even a bit of enthusiastic excitement.
because I've told myself---and the world---that this will be my last one. that I'm ready to give it up, to create more balance in my life, to find a different way to spend big chunks of time on my weekends.
as a result, what has snuck into my cycling self is this nostalgically eager little girl who is ready to observe everything along the way, to memorize vistas and views and trees and coves, and to say a sweet goodbye to the path that has brought her oh so very far.
I have somehow, miraculously, gotten myself to a place of what will be will be. however the next day and a half unfold, all will be well. whether I ride incredibly well, fairly, or poorly, whether the sun shines or the wind howls, whether I sail through without a single mechanical issue or I don't (I can't bring myself to list any of those things that might but I still hope don't happen) . . . I will be fine.
I will have honored my path, this phase of my life, these amazing experiences of riding my bike from a small, university town in northern utah to the storied, resort village in a geographic hole in the middle of western wyoming.
I have let go the reins; I am not in charge.
I have done my part: I have trained and hydrated and figured out how to keep enough electrolytes floating around in my body. I have stretched and rested and pushed and sweat, I have breathed in and out, in and out, in and out.
now it's just up to the universe, to all of those forces and energies and desires swirling in elaborate, invisible patterns to give me the experience I need tomorrow.
I'd like a fast ride, I'd like a good ride, I'd like to do it without tears and swear words. I'd like to find myself full of patience and trust and---yep, you guessed it---faith.
so, my best to all of you in whatever endeavors fill your day tomorrow, saturday the 10th.
you know where I'll be, and you can have faith in your knowledge that regardless of what comes my way, I will be absolutely