The bags are packed, the bikes are boxed up, the suitcase is full, and tomorrow we're heading west. Ready or not, short course nationals, here we come.
The weekend promises to be full of fun. Jennifer - the coach - is joining us and has promised to be as chatty as ever. She said I better bring my coffee to be able to put up with her (now I see why Jerome does the double espresso shot before bed) - but I told her that just a pair of ear plugs would do.
I know that with bringing Jennifer along comes great responsibility. Caring for the elderly is never easy. I asked her if she packed her bonnet because clearly Chris and I would be driving Miss Daisy all weekend. She said it was already packed. Sorry, Jen, but did you think you were going to get away with being the oldest around us again?
Chris doesn't know what he's gotten himself into. Two crazy women, three bikes, and one stuffed monkey. Can anything good come of this combination? Let's hope. Because airfare to Portland ain't cheap. Someone better bring home hardware to make me feel like I got my money's worth.
Pre-race preparation was going well. Really well. And then tonight I slid out on my bike around a corner. Not so well. It was one of those corners where I looked ahead and thought "that looks slick, I bet I will slide out." And then in a slow motion moment I felt myself sliding out and sliding about 10 feet on the ground. I am grateful I was not run over because it was a busy corner. I got up and was so shaky that all I kept saying was "I'm ok, I'm ok". Then I rode a little more, stopped in a neighborhood, broke down and cried. Maybe it was the burning wounds on every major junction of my right side or the threat of signficant injury or the fact that a major race is less than 3 days away.
But Chris says this is just a test. To see if I can deliver. And I'm going to give it my best no matter what. In a sense, it felt like Buffalo Springs last year when my bike didn't show up. The little adversities were starting to stack against me. But that's ok. When you have clarity of purpose, nothing will stand in the way of you acheiving your goals. Nothing.
Good stories are when you perform when everything goes your way. Better stories are when you perform when nothing is going your way. So I'm going there, weeping wounds, slick roads, hills, rain, whatever Portland decides to throw my way, and I'm bringing a great story home. There will be a great story.
(plus about 1000 stories that we will hear from Jennifer.......ear plugs anyone?)