This rant is not what you think it is. Keep reading, please.
This morning, my friend Alison (best cycling tour guide in Italy – check her out at Luccacyclingclub.com), wrote a beautiful rant about improving your cycling speed. The ccd version of her writing is this – if you want to go faster in your race or weekend ride, practice going faster during your training. Habituate going faster a couple times a week, every week. Sounds so simple and like most of life, it is. Simple, that is, but not easy. Here’s what helps ease the acute pain of getting out of your comfort zone and training hard as a way of life. There is nothing new here.
The way to consistently ride harder is to have a big dream you believe is worth the push.
For Brett, downer, Grappy, Littlest Fricker, Blondie, and me, the anticipatory joy of turning up French Alpine climbs for 9 days is the visual that keeps us going. Today, Littlest Fricker called me twice to talk about it. In between appointments, we laughed and reflected about what’s coming and what once was. In particular I recounted some of the Saturdays prior to our first France ride, ten years ago, when Petey, LA, Littlest Fricker, and I would congregate at LA’s club and his trainer would put us through the paces for 90 minutes of tortuous joy. We laughed and nearly cried as we reflected on those distant days training with no idea if we could actually do the climbs. We were scared just like Grappy is on this, his upcoming inaugural Alpine tour.
We didn’t know that LA would not live long enough to join us.
We had no idea. He left us for Heaven on May 21, 2009, just weeks before we were planning to depart for St. Jean de Maurienne. The moment he left us, he and I were sharing some anticipatory joy about this very trip. It would be our last phone conversation ever. In an instant, he was gone. I didn’t even know it at the time. I’m certain my little mind simply couldn’t fathom it. A good reminder, isn’t it friend, that you and I can plan, we just can’t control.
So, today, as we talked and reminisced, we also looked toward June 26, 2019 with anticipatory joy. We know the power in anticipating this every five year journey of Alpine suffering and joyousness. As I hung up the phone with Fricker, it hit me. Someday, I believe, I’m going to be reunited with my dear friend, LA, and with many more. As I settled into my seat and began to write, I let myself imagine the joy of this reunion and the anticipatory joy of really meeting my maker too. A Duchenne smile is creasing my ever increasingly lined face. You see, friend, anticipatory joy is not simply something for this world that we see. Anticipatory joy is designed to show us a glimpse of what lies beyond. Anticipatory joy is meant to keep us going through life’s inevitable obstacles and struggles. You see, friend, we are meant for so much more than just summiting mountaintops, securing millions, selling big deals, winning championships, and any other kinda material successes we can measure. We are made for so much more, aren’t we? I happen to believe we are. How ‘bout you, friend. What do you believe?
See you later, LA. We will see you later. Good…