Yesterday the Laser Cats got an amazing, ebullient text message from Sophia who was SO JAZZED on endorphins after doing her morning road work. That is 100% how I felt after going to my first-ever Belmont Thursday night mountain bike race. Through a years-long perfect life storm of weird work hours, injury, and surgery/rehab, I’d never been able to attend. In a weird way, I was kinda ok with this: the Belmont can be super intimidating and it seemed like it would only be more so when shared with a bunch of fast trail wizards.
I’ll admit it has been a mission of mine for some time to make peace with the Belmont; to gain some semblance of competence and proficiency with it. Riding there used to be a source of real frustration until I realized that if you can ride Belmont, you can ride anything. I had made a bunch of vows to myself when I was hurt to not take mobility for granted again, to be more diligent and intentional, to put myself out there and do new things even if they are scary. These are good life practices in general. When I realized that my schedule would allow for the Thursday night races this year, it was like the universe was calling my bluff.