Thursday, August 12, 2010

Staring it Down

We were facing down loop three. We'd done the smaller loop once, we'd done the long loop a couple of times, and we were back contemplating the long loop again before heading home.

There's something I like about completion. I like being finished with something. I like looking back after I'm done and saying And it was Good. We'd done several laps. My riding was nothing stellar that day, but given the extreme heat and dew point combined with the fact that we were at a stopping point, I could have easily said And it was Good and headed back to the car.

My bod felt the way it feels after leaving a sauna: weak and relaxed. But there was daylight left to burn and the heat had been making us stir-crazy inside. The woods were relatively cool by comparison. Wheel was going to do another lap.

I was hesitant to commit -- I liked being done. I could wait for him at the car. I could wait in the shade while drinking an ice cold caffeinated beverage (the hopped beverages were at home). I could spend some time on an out-and-back paved trail. Or, I could start the singletrack loop and bail early at one of several points.

There's strength in the suggestion of another. I decided to join him and start the loop but consider bailing if the attitude or body pooped-out. I like having options.

Typically Wheel holds-up at points along the loop just to be sure I'm fine. Since I was considering taking the shortcut, he said Well, I won't wait for you then. We'd meet back at the car.

It was an interesting comparison knowing I wouldn't see Wheel at any old point along the trail. My thoughts earlier through the loop were: around this curve? at the clearing? I hope he's not waiting at the log pile...I could take that if I wanted to. This time, I knew I'd see him when we were both finished. My thoughts were free to swirl around other things...or, they were free to leave my head completely. I was in my zone as I took rock piles and logs that I'd walked the previous time around. I hit my bail-out points, but decided I wanted to finish.

I'm typically not a whiner when it comes to riding, but that day I had a couple things on my mind and I just wasn't feelin' the love for the effort. On the last loop I surprised myself.

I always want Wheel to be there waiting for me. He makes my life stronger.

It is nice knowing, however, that I've got it inside when I need to face the going on my own.

-OB facin' it