I posed in the mirror, checking various angles for cellulite, puling up skin, sucking in. I was doing one of those awful stand-in-front-of-the-mirror-and-hate-my-body things, extended version.
I’ve put on some weight this summer - while most of the country packs on the pounds in winter, Arizonans get heavier in the summer, when the sweltering heat makes it too hot to go outdoors.
Funny thing is, I just finished a huge tour. I should be in great shape! Now that I look back, it’s hard for even me to believe how far I rode!
In 30 seconds, I went from being pissed at my body, to confused, to impressed with my own self.
I realize that I do this a lot, that a lot of us do…
Wavering in self-confidence, about the things that make us who we are… our body, our talents. It's a complicated, perplexing relationship we have with ourselves.
I feel that way about cycling, too. I am not the best cyclist. I am not the worst, either. Cycling can be a judgmental sport, there are a lot of expectations: people will always be telling you that you should train more, or differently, that you should wear this and not that, eat that and not this, ride only carbon, build your own bike or bust.
This environment can make you feel less-than, like you should be doing better, or that you are just a poser… not a real cyclist.
But the beauty about cycling, that I have to remind myself sometimes, is that once you get on the saddle, YOU ARE A CYCLIST.
Like my yoga teacher, Mark Whitwell, famously says about yoga: “Don’t just be a YOGA ENTHUSIAST. Practice yoga. Do it. Be a student of yoga, a teacher of yoga. Be a yogi.”
The same can be said for cycling. Don't just be a cycling enthusiast. It's not the frame, the kit or your Strava times that make you a cyclist. Simply get on the saddle - AND - POOF! - YOU ARE A CYCLIST.
Here's a little reminder…..
I am not a mechanic, but I can change my own tube, lube a chain and adjust a seatpost.
I am not fast, but I can keep my own pace.
I am not a climber, but I’ve ridden up Mount Mingus, the steepest road climb in AZ
I am not a downhill racer, but I’ve hit 45 mph down the Beeline
I am not a distance competitor, but I complete a century every year.
I am not just a fan of cycling, I am a cyclist.
I can change my own tube, lube a chain and adjust a seatpost.
I keep my own pace
I have ridden up the steepest peak in AZ
I have gone 45 mph downhill
I complete a century every year