Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with bicycles. There are days I love them more than they love me, so in an effort to eke every last drop of love out of my body and bike over three days, I entered my first bike race series EVER this past weekend. Three days, and it went like this: Street Sprints (300m), Criterium (40 mins), Road Race (37 miles). Street Sprints? I got 3rd in my heat when they advanced 2. Criterium? 4th from last. Road race? 2nd from last.
(check out a fun pic from @java1guy’s Flickr stream – can you find The Redhead?)
And I loved it.
Now, for those watching the Redhead Riding, I’ve been on a track bike since October and a road bike (for all intents and purposes) since February of this year. While I’ve had a short relationship with a road bike while living in Las Vegas prior to my Kilimanjaro trip in 2008, it was nothing serious (kind of like a fuck buddy but it was a bicycle). I’ve honestly never loved anything (activity-wise) so much.
Here’s what I learned from coming in (almost) last:
- You never have to come in last again.
- There’s never another first.
- There are always more discoveries.
- I wasted a lot of energy when I didn’t have to.
- I met some great people.
- Apparently guys like to hit on girls in spandex.
- SPF 50 does jack shit for a pasty white girl in the sun for 8 hours.
- There are some things I do GREAT!
- Inevitably, there are things at which I epically suck.
- Eggs are not a good pre-race meal.
- I am apparently recognizable as “Redhead Writing” while in my bike gear wearing sunglasses (and a shout out to @TashaDA, @johnincolorado, @java1guy and the volunteer named Chad – who happened to be a reader – for the nods over the weekend)
- Working together when things really suck make things not suck so much (and thanks to Gillian from the Big Ring team and Janie for making the last lap of the race MUCH more fun!)
- I can’t wait to do it all again.
I like failure. Its an “f” word that some people find really dirty, and to that I say lighten the fuck up. Embrace it. Hug it. Give it the reach around, will ya? The chance that you’ll suck as bad as you did when you think you failed AGAIN is miniscule. We find new ways to suck – and that’s called learning. If you keep sucking the same way over and over…well, you’re just an idiot. I look forward to making new mistakes. Being in new situations. Having new opportunities to fail. Each time you don’t fail, you succeed.
So yes, this weekend I failed three days in a row – but I never have to fail that way again. And that is a success.
PS: A hearty thanks to the GS Boulder team gals who are not only friendly but talented. Thanks from a redhead who looks forward to hanging on to your wheels very soon and – no offense – letting you stare at MY ass a little bit during some races later this year 🙂
PPS: And on a completely selfish note, one of my blog posts is up as a finalist in Trada’s Best Online Marketing Post contest – I need your votes! Voting ends tomorrow and if I win the votes, I can win an iPad! Click here to vote and my post is the Copywriting 3.0 post on the top line — thanks in advance!