“Faced with the need to imagine what might happen in new situations, (…) many of us get caught up in the hard stuff,” wrote Amby Burfoot in The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life: What 35 Years of Running Has Taught Me About Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Heart (2000). “We see mainly darkness, not light. We get frozen in place; we don’t get ourselves to the starting line. Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines … or other new beginnings.”
Saturday I was reminded of this quote–of the excitement and fear of new beginnings. I have joined the LA Tri Club. Along with my friend James–a hard-core cyclist in his younger years–I joined the club for my first “real”, organized ride. Ever. I have been riding a lot, but being tested by new speedy athletes can be intimidating; I recall it clearly from my first speedwork sessions with the New York Flyers back in 2009.
Just like then, I quickly found a few guys setting a pace I liked. Quietly, I joined. I was an amazing 45 mile trip from Malibu to Big Rock and back, right along the Pacific on a perfect 70-degree day. In the final miles I remembered the need to work hardest in the home stretch: test yourself for the pain and challenges of any endurance race. I pushed and actually dropped some riders.