There is hardly a case of nerves like the day before the first race of the season. So many unknowns, unanswered questions, float into your consciousness despite attempts to block them out with distraction or positive thoughts or measured expectations. Have I been training well enough? What about those few days I had to skimp on because of work? And how much faster has everyone else gotten? It can be nerve wracking, even after doing this for ten years now (though honestly only four of them seriously).
Over perceptive during your pre race spin, analyzing too deeply every sensation from your leg muscles. Because though there are chances upon chances during the season to make a bid for glory, yours or a teammate’s, the first race always seems like a harbinger of what is to come. There is little making up ground once you are behind, this sport is an unforgiving mistress.
This year, the nerves are greater. I began a new experiment by racing a full cyclocross season, all the way through nationals in January. My time off the bike was months later than I was accustomed to and hence I am starting racing a month later. There is a plan, and I believe in it, but wondering how the first race will go is only heightened by this abrupt shift, even with the coolness that comes with years racing.
Tomorrow I will forget it all, focus on the race and feel the sensation of wind whipping past my face that only racing gives you that feels so odd after months of solitary training. But tonight, I am brimming with anticipation am eagerness like a small child. What will tomorrow bring?
Will Moore, in a 1995 article in the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
It is hard to explain to people what I do and what I want to do with graduate degrees in political science and peace studies. This captures it perfectly. This is my motivation.